The Sandman

by Gideon Jacob [Reviews - 0]

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Doctor 11
Series 1 Episode 8

The Sandman

“I don’t have to explain myself, least of all to you,” the Doctor said snidely.
“We’re never going to see him again Doctor and you were so nasty to him,” Alana argued. “I think you could at least apologise to me, as you can’t to him.”
“The man made his choice.”

“Stop being so damn cold Doctor!”
“For pities sake woman drop it or I’ll take you home too!” the Doctor snapped.
A tense silence occurred between the two, the only sound being that of the old Tardis groaning through its temporal orbit.
“You should have said bye.”

“He made a rash decision,” the Doctor replied tensely. “He didn’t think about it, not for a second. I’ve never really been able to…” He trailed off. “What he did was rude, so I was rude back.”
“Rude?! He was nice to you, which is a feat in itself considering you’re so…”
“So what?” the Doctor snapped.
“Obstinate.” The Doctor sneered and made a disgruntled sound, focussing on working the Tardis.
The column suddenly stopped moving and the two time travellers fell forwards as the Tardis banged to a halt.

“We’ve landed then,” the Doctor said, now having ago at his machine. He turned and walked briskly out, Alana following him closely.
“Oh,” she said as she closed the door behind her, saying exactly what the Doctor had said.
They were confronted by a group of soldiers in red uniform pointing rifles at them, with a commander still in his bed clothes. They had materialised in what seemed to be some sort of encampment, the Tardis in the middle of a circle of tents.

“Who the hell are you?” the officer snapped.
“Sir!” came a shout as a young boy came running round the corner, panting and exhausted. “Sir…”
“Calm down boy,” the officer replied in his crisp and elevated English accent. “Gather your thoughts, now what’s the matter?”
“There’s been another one, sir,” the boy panted.
“Where?” the officer snapped.
The boy took off and was followed by the robed commander and the soldiers. The Doctor and Alana looked at one another and followed.

As they turned the corner they found themselves in a quaint little village of small white houses in the dust and yet more tents. The Doctor and Alana followed the rest inside one of the larger tents and the companion screamed at the sight, burying her head into the Doctor’s chest, who hugged her, staring down at the blood soaked bed.
The bed looked like it had been slept in, but the only thing occupying it was a set of heavily bloodied and empty bed clothes.
“Call the other officers,” the commander barked. He turned to the Doctor. “Now you sir will tell me who you are and what happened here,” he said pulling out a pistol, “or by God I will shoot you here and now.”

“For pities sake, a man has been killed,” the Doctor snapped brushing the pistol to one side and inspecting the bed with the sonic screwdriver. He was in no mood to be threatened. He frowned. “There’s a residue of drematon particles,” he said to himself. He held his hand above the bed. “The air is seething with them.” He suddenly felt something hard and cold against his temple before hearing a click.
“I said tell me what happened, or I will blow your brains out sir,” the bed robed officer said. The Doctor sighed. Casually he looked at his watch to see the year was 1880. He got to his feet and again brushed the pistol to one side, showing his psychic paper.

“I’m a doctor,” the Doctor replied. “I represent the Torchwood Institute; this is my assistant, Miss Trent.”
“You’re a doctor?” the officer replied snatching the psychic paper.
“The Doctor to be more precise,” he replied, snatching it back. He frowned when he saw what the officer had inadvertently made it say: Help Us.
“Well it’s about bloody time Torchwood got here,” the officer snapped. “My sincerest apologies for the pistol.”
“I have more pressing matters to see to,” the Doctor said dismissively. He made an assumption from the message on the psychic paper. “This isn’t the first time this has happened?”

“Oh certainly not Doctor,” the officer replied. “I better put my uniform on old boy; you’re very welcome to accompany me to my tent if you wish.”
“I think I’ll stay here, take a closer look at the, erm, crime scene.”
“Suit yourself, but more officers may be along shortly,” the bed clothed man said as he left. The Doctor turned and began scanning the bed with the screwdriver again.
“What are drematon particles Doctor?” Alana asked as she approached, gagging at the sight before.
“What? Oh, they, erm, come from the Dream reality,” the Doctor replied. Alana made a confused noise. The Doctor sighed and put the screwdriver in his pocket, turning to explain.

“Right, first of all you have to know that our Universe is actually one of many. Each decision we make creates a parallel reality and they’re all stacked up against one another, erm, like dominoes. You play dominoes right? Wonderful game, simple yet enjoyable. Who’d have thought it, a game of match up the dots, so addictive. Oh dear, I’ve digressed. Look, in between these realities, these Universes, are what we call Voids, complete nothingness, some call it Hell.
“Well all this is simply one plain of existence. It’s called a Duosistence. You see there are two plains of existence, this being one, the other being the Dream reality. Drematon particles are simply the mark of the Dream reality. Someone, or something, has been emerging from the Dream reality into our world. But who and why?”
“This Dream reality, Doctor,” Alana said, “is this where we go when we dream at night?”

“The brain waves that occur when humans sleep do afford you a glimpse of the dream world yes,” the Doctor said dismissively. “You’re one of the few species in existence to have developed Dream Sight, a sort of window that lets you see into the Dream reality. What happens when you dream isn’t controlled by you but by some higher power.”
“Higher power?” Alana asked. The Doctor waved his hand to show he was dropping the subject.
“The point is only one species has ever developed the technology to allow them to perform a Duosistence Merge, and they are extinct.”
“Which begs the question, who’s doing this, and why here?” Alana added.
“Exactly,” the Doctor replied.

“All very fascinating stuff I’m sure,” another crisp English accent said from the entrance to the small tent, this one not as deep as its predecessor. “But who on Earth are you?”
“I’m the Doctor, of Torchwood, and this is my assistant Alana Trent,” the Doctor said again showing the psychic paper. “And you are?”
“Second in command of this detachment sir,” the man replied. He was dressed in a pristine red British military uniform, one hand tucked demurely in his tunic, the other in his trouser pocket. “Colonel Weathers.”
He was a tall, thin man with blond hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He was good looking and seemed to be the type of man who thought of war as sport.
“First name being…” the Doctor said.

“It’s none of your damned business,” Weathers shot back. “Now you seem to know an awful lot about what’s going on here.”
“I’m used to this sort of thing happening.”
“What? Women and children going missing in the middle of night, soldiers being found dead in their beds, sometimes with only their clothes to prove they ever existed? I doubt anyone is used to such things.”
“Oh, you don’t know me,” the Doctor said, “thank god,” he added under his breath. Weathers raised an eyebrow.
“Ah, Weathers, you’re here,” the first accent said as the first officer entered the small tent again, this time in full uniform. “And you’ve met this Doctor fellow I see.”
“I never got your name,” the Doctor said.
“General Bridge,” the first officer replied. “Harry Bridge to be precise.”
“So this usually happens around here does it?” the Doctor asked. “I mean bloody clothes in beds and everything.”

“Every night now sir,” Bridge answered. “To be honest it’s gotten to the point now where it is all just a pain in the rear, especially when we are expecting Royal Company tomorrow.”
“Queen Victoria is coming here?” the Doctor asked in a worried tone.
“Does that bother you?” Alana asked. The Doctor then remembered they hadn’t crossed paths since his regeneration and he regained his composure.
“No,” he replied, searching for an excuse, “just excited at the prospect of finally meeting Her Majesty.”
“Aren’t we all,” Weathers muttered.
“By the way, where exactly are we?” the Doctor asked.
“How can you be so ignorant?” Weathers asked. “Ignorance of your own location? Are you sure you are from the Torchwood Institute?”

“Oh fairly sure,” the Doctor replied. “It’s just my machine, it’s alien. We recovered it but we’re still not sure how it works, to be honest we only got here by accident. So, where are we?”
“We are in India, sir” Bridge said. The Doctor frowned.
“But it’s chilly outside,” Alana commented, “as in slightly cold chilly.”
“It’s been going on for quite some time, the bad weather,” Weathers explained. “We can’t explain it. I came to India at least hoping to get away from typical British cold, only to find it all the way in India as well. Bloody India, I tell you.”
“The blood is dry,” the Doctor said almost to himself.
“What?” Alana asked.

“When did the boy see this first?”
“Boy!” Bridge shouted.
“Yes, sir?” a faint voice replied from outside.
“When did you first uncover the, erm, the scene?”
“When I woke up sir, not a minute before I came running to get you, sir.”
“You shared a tent with this poor fellow?”
“Aye, sir. I woke up half an hour before I found him gone, but he was sound asleep in his bed, sir. I fell back asleep and when next I woke I found that, sir.”
“Half an hour ago?” the Doctor repeated in confusion. “Add to that the presence of the drematon particles…”
“What is it Doctor?”
“I think whatever happened must have happened in the last fifteen minutes, drematon particles fade fast you see. But blood doesn’t dry that fast.”
“Which means what exactly?” Weathers asked.

“Yes, come on man, don’t leave us guessing,” Bridge added.
“Well the drematon particles, the dried blood, the drop in temperature you described, it all points to one thing. Someone, or indeed something, is continuously performing multiple Duosistency Merges, causing side effects in reality, time acceleration, temperature drop, particle residue. But who?!” he yelled as he jumped in and gritted his teeth in frustration. “If they keep taking people, killing soldiers, it means whoever it is they are planning something big, something terrible, something horrific.” He looked up suddenly and turned to Bridge and Weathers. “And the Queen coming, that’s just coincidence? No, no I don’t believe in coincidence. Well, not ones as big as this anyway.”

“Are you saying all of this is connected in some way?” Alana asked.
“Connected? Possibly.”
“Well what else then?” Bridge asked.
“Unless the weather change is something else entirely,” the Doctor carried on.
“Like what?” Alana asked. “If it isn’t because someone’s doing this Merge thing then what could it be?”
“The barrier,” the Doctor said. He ran outside and randomly started waving the sonic screwdriver in the air effectively scanning nothing. “Yes, I was right!” he exclaimed. “It’s the barrier,” he told Alana. He turned to Bridge and Weathers. “Recently, have you found anyone unconscious, in a coma or something?”
“Yes, how did you know that?” Weathers said after exchanging looks with Bridge.
“Can I have a look at them?”

The Doctor walked over to the beds. They were occupied by a group of ten men, women and children. He scanned their foreheads one by one before nodding and tapping the screwdriver against his pursed mouth.
“I was right,” he said.
“About what?” Weathers asked.

“They are all dreaming,” the Doctor replied. “This means they have an active link between our existence and the Dream reality. He’s using them to keep the barrier open and as a result the wound as it were is sucking up all the heat, that’s why there’s been a drop in temperature. But why keep the barrier open, he’s not interested in Earth, he’s not shown any want for it before so why now, what’s he doing?”
“Who’s he?” Alana asked.
“The only person who could be responsible for all this,” the Doctor explained. “It’s the Sandman. The monster of dreams.”

“Poppy cock,” Weathers spat. “The Sandman? Please, do us a favour Doctor. The Sandman is nothing more than a creation used to scare children.”
“Well, for you he is yeah,” the Doctor replied. “But in reality he is a living creature. His people were older than even the Time Lords. They called themselves The Phase. Creatures that had evolved to the ultimate form of life, to the point where they had no natural body, but were simply apparitions, energy creatures. They became so advanced, technologically, that they found a way to perform a Duosistency Merge. They could control not only our existence but the dream existence as well.”
“But you said they were all dead,” Alana commented.

“All apart from the Sandman yes. You see, like everything in the Universe, the Phase had their time, they weren’t immortal. They began to die off one by one until only the Sandman left alive and he decided to perform a permanent merge into dream world, a thing his people had forbidden. He moved into the Dream reality and with him went the technology for Duosistency Merging. But he didn’t know that even in the Dream world he couldn’t achieve immortality. You see time may have no meaning in the Dream reality but it still needs energy to exist. As dreaming is a very rare thing to find in the Universe, believe it or not, the Dream reality isn’t as strong as he thought it was. He will die even in the Dream world some point.”
“But why do you think he wants to invade Earth?”

“He doesn’t, not at all. He isn’t interested in Earth; it’s too primitive for a creature like him. He wants something else. He’s keeping the barrier open for a reason. But why did he target humanity. Why you?”
“I’ve heard enough Doctor,” Weathers said. “This is all nonsense. Talk of aliens and other realities and universes, it’s ungodly sir. Now I’m returning to my tent. I suggest you all get some rest for Her Majesties arrival tomorrow. Good night, sir.” He stormed off back to his tent.
“I must say his suggestion makes sense,” Bridge replied. “Were it not for the fact that if I go to sleep I don’t know if I shall live to see the morning.”

“Oh you will,” the Doctor told him, “they’ve feasted for tonight. Go on, get some rest.” Bridge nodded.
“You seem to be our saviour Doctor,” he said. “Before I am to retire answer me this question sir, can you help us?”
“I can fix things,” the Doctor replied, partly enigmatic. Bridge frowned but left none the less.
“It’s amazing how they trust you so implicitly already,” Alana said when they were alone.
“I guess I just have one of those faces,” the Doctor replied as they left.
“So you said they weren’t interested in Earth.”
“No, I told you, you’re far too primitive. The Sandman is after something else, but what?”
The Doctor and Alana left, walking across the courtyard back towards the Tardis when suddenly an ice cold breeze blew. The both stopped and gave each other a look. Soon the breeze built up to a wind before becoming a gale.

“It’s another freak storm!” a soldier shouted, holding his hat down on his head.
“This is no freak storm,” the Doctor mumbled to himself as thunder began to rumble violently above them.
The gale began to blow fiercer than ever, causing a handful of men to stumble and some to fall to the floor. The Doctor remained standing, helping to steady Alana beside him.
“What’s going on Doctor?” Alana shouted over the commotion.
Above them forks of lightning shot through the clouds before striking several spots on the floor, near to where the Doctor was standing.
The spots began to glow a deep purple before streams of fiery light joined them all together, forming a hexagon.

“It’s him,” the Doctor said. “He’s coming into our Universe.”
“Who is?” Alana pressed.
The hexagon began to glow violently, blinding those around it. It slowly morphed into some sort of spinning gate, golden in colour and engraved with many strange runes. The gate opened up splitting in two to reveal plains of desert and rock on the other side.
“The Sandman,” the Doctor answered.
A great indefinable black shape began to come through, rising high into the air, its elongated body stretching up high, half in this existence half in the dream world. Slowly the black shape began to form into a silhouette. It had a head and broad shoulders but its arms seemed to bristle with spikes
“What do we do?” Alana shouted as the ground began to shake.

“RUN!” the Doctor roared.
Soldiers began to take off, running for their lives. At the same time Bridge came speeding into view, a group of men with him. They knelt down on the floor forming two ranks and aimed their rifles at the black mass.
“What the hell is going on here?” Bridge snapped.
“It’s the Sandman!” the Doctor shouted. “He’s come to kill us!”
“Not on my watch,” Bridge said to himself, walking over to the side of his men. “Present, fire!” he ordered.
A hailstorm of bullets was unleashed all hitting their mark. The black shape seemed to fluctuate, waves rippling through it, before it returned to its previous appearance.
“You fools,” the Doctor mumbled shaking his head.
Holes began to open up in the body of the black shape and out flew ghostly apparitions, the appearances of which were like hellish demons and dragons with great tusks and spikes and scales.

They let out a horrendous piercing screech as they flew at the men, hitting several on the chest and seemingly disappearing inside their victims. The casualty’s skin began to ripple like the sea before drooping and melting. They started to scratch as if clawing something inside their body. They roared and screamed in agony before slumping to the floor dead and a gooey mess.
The others began to run off yelling for their lives with even Bridge backing off, a look of horror on his face.
“Don’t be frightened!” the Doctor shouted. “He plays on your fears, those men are not what they appear to be, he’s planting images in your heads! Don’t let him scare you! No! Come back!”
“Doctor!” Alana screamed, “Look!”

The Doctor turned as the Sandman pulled himself through the gate completely. Slowly the lightning and thunder began to dissipate, the ground gradually coming to a halt.
The Sandman now took the form of a full man, albeit it an eight foot tall man with unnaturally long arms and an unusually out of scale chest. The Sandman approached the Doctor who, as Alana began to cower, stood perfectly still and unflinching, clearly trying not to be afraid. The Sandman leaned in close, his featureless black silhouette of a head forming features and becoming a face.
“Who are you who knows so much and does not cower in the face of fear?” a strange hollow, distant echo of a voice asked.
“I am the Doctor,” the Time Lord replied, not giving away any more than he needed to.

“A Doctor?” the Sandman replied.
“No,” the Doctor snapped angrily, “The Doctor.”
“You are not like them,” the Sandman told him. “I can not see your dreams or your nightmares; you can not see through the window can you?”
“No,” the Doctor said again.
“Then you are of foreign origin to these people, one of different beginnings.”
“I am.”
“What are you?”
“I am a Time Lord.” The Sandman seemed to recoil slightly before edging even closer than before.
“The last of your kind,” he said. “We are the same.” The Doctor smiled and shook his head.

“Oh I am afraid not.” The Sandman made no reply. “You are a killer, a murderer.”
“You say this because…” The Sandman awaited an answer.
“You take men from their beds, your creatures devouring them. These people are scared half to death!”
“Then perhaps we should cut back, they are of no use to us dead.”
“What is it you are doing?” the Doctor snapped. “Tell me now!”
“You have no need to know, you will go unharmed, unless you are still present during the time of reckoning of this world.”
“Time of reckoning? What do you mean?”

“It is of no consequence,” the Sandman told him. “This planet will cease to exist before long, I suggest you leave before then, Time Lord.” The Sandman turned to go back through the gate.
“Stay where you are demon!” Bridge roared. The Sandman and the Doctor and Alana all turned their heads to see him aiming his gun at the Sandman. “Now you will tell me, sir, how my men came to die and why you kidnap my people, or by dear God I will shoot you down.”
“Don’t do this Bridge,” the Doctor said simply. The Sandman laughed, his chuckle being horrifically disturbing.

“You have already seen what happens to those who attack me with such crude weapons,” he said, turning fully now so he stood opposite the much smaller Bridge.
“I doubt even something like you could go unharmed by a ton of lead sir.”
“Don’t do this Bridge, stand down now,” the Doctor told him forcefully.
“Extraordinary,” the Sandman commented. “Such a frail creature standing strong in the face of his death. Do you think you can harm me human? You are very welcome to try but know he who deals must also be ready to take.”
“Tell me what it is you are doing sir or it ends now!” Bridge almost screamed, his hand shaking.

“Stand down General!” the Doctor yelled. The Sandman leaned in so close his nose brushed against Bridge’s nose.
“Shoot me,” he whispered.
“No General!” the Doctor roared.
Bridge roared and emptied the entire chamber of his pistol into the Sandman, who neither flinched nor moved but simply maintained his stare throughout. Bridge was breathing heavily after his action, sweat now pouring down his brow despite the freezing cold air.
“Now pay for it,” the Sandman said simply.
Out of nowhere a fanged scythed spiked black shape of a creature appeared above Bridge and grabbed him, taking him into the air. The Sandman followed it and, as the creature dropped Bridge and disappeared, the Sandman’s arms turned into scythes themselves and sliced and diced Bridge until he was nothing more than a bloody mess. After his screams had ceased the lifeless body fell to the Earth before being sucked through the gateway.

The Sandman landed and went to leave, turning at the last minute to look at the Doctor once more.
“The next time we meet alien, it will be your companion who is absorbed and you shall watch. I can not read your nightmares, but I can guess.” He went through, peering out at the last moment. “And I am not a murderer.”
The gates sealed shut and disappeared, sending an almighty blast of wind through the air, enough to send the Doctor and Alana flying backwards and slamming against the floor, landing next to the tattered bloody clothes of Bridge.
Alana scrambled through the dust away from them before collapsing onto her back, weeping. She had never felt so frightened in her entire life. The Doctor lay staring at the clothes, pondering. He came to and heard his companion weeping. Getting to his feet and brushing himself down he offered a hand to help Alana up who, when on her feet, embraced the Doctor tightly.

“Are you ok?” the Doctor asked.
“I’ve never felt so frightened,” she said through her tears and intakes of breath.
“I know,” the Doctor replied, gently moving Alana away. “The Sandman prays on your nightmares. It is said some have died simply by being in his presence. He’ll manipulate your very feelings and emotions because he knows your worst nightmares and your greatest fears.”
“He’s telepathic?”
“Oh no,” the Doctor chuckled, “he’s not that good. No he can simply see into your thoughts, only those concerning the dream world mind. Remember I told you humans could see through a window into the other Duosistence, well like all windows its two way, he can see in just as well as you can see out.”
“That’s why you weren’t afraid,” Alana said in recognition. “You don’t dream so he couldn’t see your fears.” The Doctor smiled.

“By God what just happened out here?” Weathers snapped as he appeared, accompanied by an entire troop of soldiers, rifles at the ready.
“The Sandman happened,” the Doctor said back, in no mood to be in the company of this man. He began to walk off, taking Alana with him.
Weathers noticed the bloody rags on the floor and walked up to them, looking down disgustingly at the mess. He recognised them as Bridge’s the moment he saw the stripes on the arm and the ornate lapels.
“What happened to Bridge?” Weathers asked. The Doctor turned.
“I told you…”
“Ah yes the Sandman, of course,” Weathers interrupted, his voice laden with disbelief and mockery. “This imaginary creature of yours.”
“The Sandman isn’t a figment of imagination. Ask your men, they’ll tell you,” the Doctor said, fighting to keep his calm. The soldiers simply looked down and shuffled their feat. “He is real and he killed Bridge.”

“My men claim they saw nothing Doctor,” Weathers replied.
“What?” The Doctor turned to the troops. “But you saw it! It killed our friends! You can’t…”
“It didn’t feel real,” one of the uniformed men replied. “It felt like a dream, a nightmare.”
“Of course it did he’s from the Dream world you idiot!” the Doctor snapped angrily. “Ok, if he wasn’t real how do explain the disappearance of your friends then? Hm? Or the disappearance of Bridge’s body for that matter?”
“I find it suspicious how I discover the rags of a dead man covered and soaked in blood as well as several of my men…”
“Your men?” Alana interrupted.
“Several of my men having disappeared,” Weathers continued, “with you two the only people around the scene of the murder.”
“What?” the Doctor asked in almost a whisper. He approached Weathers. “What are you saying?”
“There is no Sandman, he is just some poor alibi you dreamt up to cover your tracks.”

“And what exactly are my tracks?” the Doctor pressed, now almost growling.
“Men do not simply turn into bloody rags Doctor,” Weathers told him. “You killed these men.”
“I beg your pardon,” the Doctor scoffed.
“You killed these men and then blamed it on some demon creature,” Weathers said. “I mean if you are going to murder someone at least think of a believable alibi sir.”
“How dare you accuse me of murder!” the Doctor shouted, taking everyone by surprise. “I am not a murderer! All I am trying to do here is save each one of your stinking rotting lives and all I get is this in return?”
“I am going to have to arrest you…”

“Ok then Weathers,” the Doctor interrupted. “If there is no Sandman and I did kill these people please explain to me why there were deaths like these before I got here? How did I get rid of the bodies in a matter of seconds? You said it yourself men don’t just turn into bloody rags. And for pities sake man we’re in India! You don’t suddenly get thunderstorms and earthquakes and gale force winds for a matter of seconds before then magically stopping as fast as they started!”
“You admitted to having an alien machine Doctor,” Weathers argued, “that blue box. I do not know what it is or how it works but that is how you managed to make all of those things happen! Perhaps you have been here longer than we know and you did murder those earlier people too.”

“I don’t have to listen to this,” the Doctor spat storming off.
As he turned the corner however he found himself confronted by an armed troop of soldiers.
“I am arresting you on…”
“You have no evidence,” the Doctor interrupted, now with a smug smile. “You can’t do a thing to me.”
“Very well,” Weathers replied, determined not to be defeated. “Then I shall keep you here and inform Her Majesty of these occurrences. She can then decide how to proceed.” Weathers turned to one of his men and ordered a search of the two travellers.
With their possessions confiscated they were ordered to a small tent and a guard was told to keep watch over them.
“Well this is nice,” Alana retorted. “I’ve been stalked by killer robots, lost one of my closest friends, seen creatures from the depths of Hell eat people alive in front of me and now I get to be arrested a hundred years before I was born! I’m having a lovely weekend aren’t I.”
“Oh stop moaning,” the Doctor replied, “I mean it’s not like…” He stopped. “Oh dear, I’ve made a horrible mistake.”

“Oh wonderful,” Alana exclaimed in exasperation. “What? What’s going to happen? Come on, tell me! What the Sandman is going to feast on us all now? Maybe we’re going to be executed or hell maybe The Clan will make an appearance! It’d all add to the atmosphere wouldn’t it?!”
“You said it was the weekend,” the Doctor mumbled. He turned eyes wide in horror. “I forgot to tape Ant and Dec!”
Alana stared at him unbelievingly, shaking her head.
“I honestly don’t believe you,” she said, “I mean we’re about to be taken to the gallows no doubt and you’re worried about what is on the TV?”
“Why? Why is worrying about the TV bad?”
“Oh you know just that we’re all going to be killed by nightmarish creatures, intent on murdering all of humanity!”

“Hey, you heard the Sandman, he isn’t murdering you he’s abso…”
“What?” Alan asked, worried when the Doctor cut off half way through. “What is it?” He looked at her.
“It was a two hour special,” he said. Alana yelled in frustration. “Now if you don’t mind I have a guard to talk to.” The Doctor went outside.
As he emerged from the tent the young man grabbed his rifle and pointed it at the Doctor. He rolled his eyes and brushed it away.
“You’re shaking,” the Doctor observed. “I take it you’re just as frightened as my friend is.” The young man, who looked no older than nineteen, looked away.
“I can’t let you leave,” he stuttered.

“Oh I’m not going to run off,” the Doctor chuckled as he sat down on the ground next to his guard. “I’m not dumb enough to try. Now with that idiot Weathers…”
“If you’re going to try and persuade me to mutiny you’d better stop now,” the young man interrupted. “Especially as Her Majesty is due in the morning.”
“I would try nothing of the sort my good man,” the Doctor said, “and I am glad you said that actually. It shows you are more intelligent than the rest of them. No, I wouldn’t try and persuade you to risk your career, I just greatly dislike the pompous fool, a right pain in the…”

“What?” the young officer pressed almost sternly. The Doctor liked this lad.
“Boot,” the Doctor finished with a smug smile. There was a moment’s silence. “There is no need to be afraid,” the Doctor said. “Yes he can kill you but I face that sort of thing every day and I’m still here.” He thought about this for a moment. “So ok I’ve died ten times already. Maybe you’d be better off ignoring my advice.” The young man laughed.
“I don’t want to sleep,” he said suddenly. The Doctor turned to him. He turned to the Doctor. “If I sleep,” he stuttered, “I might not wake up.” The Doctor placed a hand on his shoulder.
“You won’t die,” he said reassuringly. “I won’t let you die. I didn’t kill those men and I’m here to help you, all of you, even Weathers. Lord help the Sandman is all I can say, Lord help the Sandman should he kill another man.”
“I’m still afraid,” the young soldier replied.

“Go to sleep,” the Doctor said. The guard looked startled. “I won’t run off and you won’t die. I’ll be sat here all night so you needn’t worry, nothing will get to you.”
“I promise you lad,” the Doctor said. “I promise you that you will live through this.”
The young guard, who told the Doctor his name was Tom, put his hat over his eyes, leaned back and fell to sleep. The Doctor, despite having promised himself not to doze off, eventually ended up sleeping as well.

The Doctor was jostled violently awake and roughly pulled to his feet. As his eyes adjusted to the light he managed to take in his surroundings.
He was outside the tent just as he thought he would have been, only now there were many more soldiers and men and women in the small courtyard. He had been roughly awoken by a burley looking man, a man he later knew to be Colours Sergeant Haughton, and was surrounded by rifle men with Weathers looking directly at him. Next to him stood a small but commanding and regal looking woman who the Doctor recognised at once; she was Queen Victoria.

“This is the man your Majesty,” Weathers said. “This is the one calling himself the Doctor.”
“My lady,” the Doctor exclaimed with glee. “How nice to see you again!”
“Who are you?” the Queen asked commandingly.
“Nice to see you haven’t lost any of your people skills since our last meeting.” She did not look amused. “It’s me, the Doctor, the guy in the pinstripes with those horribly boggley eyes and that terrible hair style. By the way, what brings your ladyship to such an inhospitable climate?”
“Her Majesty is travelling further north,” a man said from behind Weathers. “She is simply remaining here for rest. “
“And the fact that this place is being haunted by…”
“I demand to know who you are!” the Queen snapped.
“For pities sake don’t you ever listen woman? It’s me, the Doctor!” She looked horrified at this outburst and Weathers drew his pistol, aiming it at the Doctor.
“The proper form of address is Your Majesty, sir,” he said furiously.
“Thank you Colonel but I am capable of speaking for myself,” Victoria snapped. Weathers lowered the pistol. “You are not the Doctor,” she went on, “because you do not look like the Doctor.”

“Look into my eyes,” the Doctor said solemnly. “Look beyond what you see. Look into me, not at me, and tell me who it is you see.”
The Queen did this and in his eyes saw ghosts of many men, one with curls and teeth, another young and vulnerable, one with a beaten leather jacket and him. When she looked into his eyes she did indeed see the Doctor she had known. It was at that moment that she realised who he was.
“It is you,” she gasped. He smiled.
“How’s the gash?” he asked, referring to her cut at the hands of the werewolf, the cut that she denied but that he knew was there.
“You were banished sir,” she scoffed. “You were banished under penalty of death.” Weathers smiled gleefully, again aiming his pistol and pressing it between the eyes of the Time Lord.
“You heard the Queen men,” Weathers said, “this man has returned after being banished under pain of death. Now I can kill you Doctor.”
“Enough stop this nonsense!” the Queen snapped. “Lower your weapon.”
“You heard her,” the Doctor said. Weathers sneered but followed his order none the less.

“I am interested, Sir Doctor of Tardis, what exactly you have to say for yourself. I supposed you and your little naked girl have an excuse for returning to the Empire. Where is the girl by the way, the lady you called Rose, where is she?” The Doctor suddenly went solemn, his eyes glazed as if looking back on a very painful memory.
“She…” he stuttered. His eyes began to glisten. He swallowed back his emotion. “She’s with her family,” he settled on. “All of them, even her father. She’s with all of her family, a long way away.”
“I see,” Victoria replied. “So you are alone.”
“No,” the Doctor said quickly, almost interrupting the Queen. “No I’m not alone. I have a new companion, called Alana.” His eyes widened suddenly. “Alana.” He spun around. “Alan are you in there?” He sighed and his eyes fell. “Not again,” he said.
He dived inside the tent and was confronted by the very thing he did not want to be confronted by. He was confronted with nothing. There was nothing inside. There was no one inside. The Doctor fell to his knees.

“She’s gone?” Weathers said in disbelief on entering the tent.
“She’s gone,” the Doctor repeated almost to himself. “I lost her. She didn’t even want to come with me. I took her, I kidnapped her, I brought her on this journey, down my road, and I shouldn’t have done. I’ve done it again. She’s dead because of me.”
“Ha!” Weathers spat suddenly. “Straight from the horse’s mouth!” The Doctor turned, a frown spread across his face.
“You said it yourself, she’s dead because of you. You even killed your closest friend you sick monster!” Weathers grabbed him by the arm and, pressing his gun against the Doctor’s back, forced him outside.
“What is going on?” the Queen snapped.

“This man just admitted in front of me that he is responsible for the death of the girl inside that tent your Majesty,” Weathers said. “I also have reason to believe that he is responsible for the death of a dozen of my men and of General Bridge. Not only this but he returned to the British Empire despite having been banished under penalty of death.” It occurred to the Doctor that Weathers was having great joy in reeling off the charges.
“Have you anything to say for yourself,” the Queen scoffed. The Doctor remained silent. “Then Doctor, I have no other choice, I sentence you to immediate execution by firing squad.”

Weathers smiled as he forced the Doctor over against a wall. The Time Lord turned to face the brick but Weathers made him watch the firing squad. A group of armed soldiers took up position in front of him and Weathers stood at the side of them.
“It was fun while it lasted Doctor,” he sneered. “Present!” The soldiers raised their rifles.
“I have to say I quite liked me,” the Doctor mumbled to himself.
As Weathers went to give the order to fire a massive gust of cold wind blew through the camp, knocking men and women over, including the Queen. As soon as the gust had passed, a series of bolts of lightning seared down striking the ground between the crowd and the firing line.

“Run!” the Doctor shouted as small black holes appeared in the sky. Clawed monstrous black silhouettes appeared, merging into formidable looking demon creatures. They swooped down killing man and woman alike.
The Queen was led off in the middle of a circle of armed soldiers as the monsters swept through the camp. The firing line itself was ripped to shreds, Weathers only just managing to escape the slaughter.

As thunder rumbled up above and as the wind picked up again Weathers growled in frustration. He drew his pistol and stormed up to the Doctor, who was pressed against the wall carefully watching the sky. He turned to see Weathers aim the pistol right at his head.
“Any last words?” Weathers spat. The ground began to quake and splinter as the wind became a gale.
“Well actually…” the Doctor began as four bolts of lightning struck the sky from above and behind the wall. “I have just two.” Weathers frowned in confusion.
“What?” he asked. The Doctor could feel the portal opening behind them.
“Look up,” he said.
Weathers did so to see the Sandman emerging from his portal, slowly morphing into the shape he had done before. Weathers frantically fired at it but the Sandman looked down at the incoming bullets.

“No don’t!” the Doctor shouted pushing the gun away causing the last few bullets to go wide.
“You idiot why did you do that?” Weathers snapped.
The Sandman roared as demonic ghosts shot out from his body, screaming their high pitched scream as they headed straight for Weathers. He slammed his hands over his ears and began to crouch down, dropping his weapon.
“Get down!” the Doctor shouted lunging forwards and taking both him and Weathers down to the dusty floor. The ghosts flew past them and came back around for another attack.
The Doctor jumped up to his feet and stood directly in their path.
“What are you doing?” Weathers cried as the creatures headed straight for the Doctor. Weathers leaped to his feet and tried to jostle the Doctor away. The Time Lord however would not let anyone else die and, as he saw the creatures attack he managed to push Weathers away, the apparitions slamming into his chest and send him flying backwards through the air.

Weathers watched as the Doctor slammed against the floor, unmoving. He heard another tremendous roar and turned. The Sandman brought back a scythed arm and sent it crashing down onto Weathers.
“Noooooo!” he cried.