Series 1 Episode 10
A Walking Feast
The familiar groaning echoed though the air as a strange blue box materialised on the corner of a back street in Paris. The door opened and out stepped a man dressed all in black.
He stepped out and onto the road shielding his eyes from the sun. A woman followed him.
“Where are we this time Doctor?” she asked. The Doctor walked over to a nearby building and looked inside at the display of hats and jackets before inspecting the architecture.
“I’d say Paris, modern day Paris. Well, your modern day Paris.”
“Gay Paris,” Alana said. “I always wanted to come here.” She ran off and into the bustling city. The Doctor sighed and took off after her.
He emerged behind Alana and stepped out of the back alley. On the horizon stood the imposing structure of the Eiffel Tower loomed on the horizon. Painters and salesmen littered the streets as tourists sat in outdoors cafes sipping their coffee and eating their cakes.
“Not a care in the world,” the Doctor said to himself. “If only they knew about what went off out there.”
“Looks like we hit the tourist boom,” Alana told the Doctor as she turned to face him with a beaming smile. “I think we deserve a holiday don’t you?”
No sooner had Alana finished the sentence then a scream shattered the air. It was high pitched and the square seemed to be draped in a strange tense hush. The Doctor turned in the direction of the noise.
“If there’s one thing you should have learned by now Alana,” he said turning to face her “is that I don’t get holidays.” He smiled at her and sped off. She let out a groan.
“Just once please!” she shouted as she ran after him.
She approached the crowd and caught up with the Doctor who had already forced his way to the front. She looked down at the floor just as everyone else was and noticed an empty pile of clothes on the floor. Someone had obviously been stood here.
“What happened here?” the Doctor demanded facing the policeman stood next to him.
“I do not know monsieur,” he replied in that familiar French drawl. “I heard a scream and came running.”
“Does anyone know what happened?” Alana shouted over the crowd.
The Doctor knelt down and lifted the clothes up.
“Monsieur you can not touch the evidence!” the policeman protested. The Doctor was too busy staring at what was under the clothes to hear him. Alana turned and walked forwards so she could see over his shoulder.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Ash,” the Doctor replied solemnly. “Human ash.” The Doctor got to his feet and looked around. He caught a glimpse of something from behind the crowds.
He barged his way through to the back of the assembled spectators and saw a gaunt thin man walking calmly down the street. The Doctor started off jogging after him.
“Hey,” he shouted. He sped up. “Hey you! Stop!” He began to sprint after the man in black who turned a corner. The Doctor skidded to a stop and peered around the corner to see no one. He walked into the back alley.
Taking his surroundings all the Time Lord could see were two brick walls from the surrounding buildings and a metal veranda high above him. There was nothing else. He pulled out his sonic screwdriver and began scanning the walls for a hidden door or something similar. He found nothing. He turned back around frowning and tapping his lips with the screwdriver as if in deep thought. He looked back over at the crowd as blaring lights illuminated the grey concrete and a car skidded to a halt by the crime scene.
“What happened?” Alana asked the Doctor as he approached.
“He disappeared,” the Doctor replied. “He just vanished.” He noticed the first policeman pointing at the Doctor and a new police officer turned and approached him.
“Bonjour Monsieur, madam,” he said. “I am Chief Barnois. My officer here tells me you interfered with the evidence.”
“I moved the clothes yes,” the Doctor replied simply. “I wanted to see what had happened to the body.” The Frenchman laughed mockingly.
“Was it not obvious Monsieur that there is no body? The victim has simply disappeared.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” the Doctor scoffed. “Only one thing on this damn planet can simply disappear and that thing belongs to me. No, you see the body was turned into ash.” He pointed at the dust on the ground. The Officer smiled patronisingly and shook his head.
“Perhaps Monsieur you should this to the professionals. Turning people into ash impossible. The ash is simply a calling card that some…”
“I’m sorry,” the Doctor interrupted, “for a moment I thought you told me to leave this to the professionals.” Alana rolled her eyes.
“You heard correctly sir. Now I must demand to know why you saw fit to move the evidence.”
“You blundering French imbecile!” the Doctor snapped. “I am the only professional around here. You have no idea about the dangers of this Universe.”
“I will not be spoken to in such a manner,” the Officer protested. “I must…”
“The only thing you have to do is leave me alone so I can figure this out before someone else gets turned into a pile of a dust.”
“That is it Monsieur. I am arresting you on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. You may not…”
“What?” the Doctor snapped. “Perverting the…”
“Do not make me hurt you Monsieur,” the Officer replied. “Please get in the car. And your friend too.”
Doctor, please, just do as he tells you. Just this once.” Alana looked at him almost pleadingly telling him she wasn’t exactly in a mood to be fighting again this soon. He looked back at her with anger in his eyes.
“Fine,” he said almost spitting. He turned and opened the car door. “Well come along we don’t have all day.”
The Officer turned and issued his underling some instructions before getting in his car and taking Alana and the Doctor to the station.
The pale gaunt undertaker sat behind his desk his back rigid and straight. He stared with his big bulbous eyes at the glass door as if waiting for someone.
The door jingled as it opened and in walked a short couple, the man cradling the weeping woman. The undertaker remained sat looking at them unemotionally.
“May I help you?” he whispered.
“We’re hear to organise a funeral,” the man said softly as he gently sat the woman down and took his own seat. “My wife recently lost her sister. Two days ago she was abducted. Her body went missing and she’s presumed dead. All they found was a pile of ash.” The undertaker suddenly looked at him, eyes wide, before they darted back to his desk as he took out a pen and a form.
“I shall need to fill in this form first,” he whispered. The man nodded. The man noticed that the undertaker was still wearing his black gloves even thought it was the middle of summer and the inside of the building was even hotter than it was outside.
The undertaker asked the man for his details one by one as he filled the form out, all the while the man kept looking at his wife to see if she was ok.
“What was the name of the departed?” the undertaker asked in his whisper. The man looked down at his feet and swallowed hard.
“Marie Pierre,” he said. The woman wailed and once again began to sob loudly. She had clearly been very closer to her deceased sibling.
The undertaker looked back down at his form and began to write the name in. As he reached the middle of the surname he suddenly stopped and opened his hand so the pen fell over onto the table. He again sat in his rigid unmoving position and tilted his head like a dog. The man frowned.
“Is there something wrong?” he asked. The undertaker said nothing. His head returned to its original position and he stood up and walked back over to the door. “Was…did…what’s going on?” the man pressed.
“Jean…” the woman managed in her confusion between the tears.
“It’s ok dear,” the man replied. He got to his feet as the undertaker turned the sign in the door so that it displayed closed to the outside. The undertaker turned to face the man.
“We are closed now,” he whispered.
“What’s going on?” the man demanded.
“It is time to feed.”
The Doctor sat alone in the questioning room. He and Alana had both been led off in different directions the moment they had passed through the doors. The Doctor was tapping his foot and drumming his fingers on the table. He was getting impatient. He had been sat in there for god only knows how long and he knew there was something going off in Paris and it was something he needed to find out quickly.
The door opened and in walked the uniformed officer the Doctor had clashed with in the street, Barnois, and another policeman in `civvies`.
“Finally,” the Doctor moaned. “I’ve been sat here for far too long. I have places to be. I hope for your sakes this isn’t going to take long.”
“This will take as long as you let it take Monsieur,” the unknown policeman said as he and Barnois sat opposite the Doctor.
“Well in that case I’m leaving, now,” the Doctor ordered as he glared across the table.
“My name is Christophe Naples,” the officer replied with a smile blatantly ignoring the Doctor. “You’ve already met Chief Barnois.”
“Sadly,” the Doctor retorted. “Are we done yet?” Again Naples ignored him.
“You call yourself the Doctor I see,” Naples said. “Surely that can not be your real name.”
“You know my name.” Naples sighed and sat back.
“What are you a Doctor of Monsieur?”
“Everything.” Naples raised an eyebrow.
“Stop speaking nonsense!” Barnois snapped. The Doctor did not even look at him.
“So you know all about medicine and science then do you?” Naples pressed.
“I dabble,” the Doctor replied.
“How did you get this title Doctor?” The Time Lord smiled but said nothing. Naples leaned forwards. “Why were you at the crime scene?”
“I heard a scream, just like everyone else.”
“It may interest you to know we interviewed everyone in that crowd and ninety nine per cent of them claimed they had been very close by, so close they just turned around. In your statement you say you had been at least two corners away. You heard a scream and ran towards it?”
“It’s what I do.”
“But you just said you were a doctor, of medicine and science,” Naples shot immediately. The Doctor smiled again.
“You know what you are doing,” Naples said.
“Is that a question?” the Doctor replied. This time Naples smiled. “I find it helps to know what you’re doing when you’re doing it.”
“And what is `it` Doctor?” Naples asked.
“Everything,” the Time Lord said coming full circle.
“This is hopeless,” Barnois moaned. “We’d be better off interviewing his companion.”
“Enough Barnois,” Naples snapped. He turned back to the Doctor. “I can’t help but feel like you’ve bee in a questioning room before.”
“Good for you,” the Doctor said almost like an after thought as he looked at his watch. He looked back at Naples who had that `I want you to answer my unasked question` look in his eyes. The Doctor sighed. He was going to make Naples ask it. On principle.
“Have you?” Naples eventually conceded. The Doctor smirked arrogantly.
“I’ve had my fair few interrogations.”
“Is that how you see this? As an interrogation?”
“No. I see it as a poor excuse for one.”
“Oh? Why is that?”
“Well you got straight to it didn’t you. No chit chat, no idle gossip, no phatic communication.” The Doctor looked at the mirror in the room facing the people behind it. “That’s the problem with you people these days you don’t make room for a good interrogation.” He turned back to Naples. “You’ve all gotten rather PC.”
“Would you prefer us to hurt you?” Naples asked. The Doctor now put on his poker face.
“You tell me.”
“I asked first.”
“Yes.” The Doctor sat back in his chair and again started to drum his fingers on the table. Naples ran a hand through his hair.
“Is that `yes you asked first` or `yes I would rather you hurt me`.”
“That’s just yes.” Barnois jumped to his feet and slammed his fist on the table.
“Are you the murderer or not?” he shouted. Naples grabbed Barnois and threw him back in his chair.
“Contain yourself Chief Inspector,” he said. He turned back to the Doctor. “That is a valid question.”
“Oh I know. I choose not to answer because it doesn’t deserve an answer. I am not a murderer.”
“You must admit the evidence suggests otherwise.”
“Evidence? You don’t have any evidence.”
“You’re fingerprints were the only ones on the clothes of the victim. You moved the evidence perhaps to hide something or distract the officer from another more important action, hiding the murder weapon for example. You just so happen to appear as the murders start and…”
“Murders?” the Doctor interrupted jumping forwards in his chair. “There’s been more than one?” Naples was taken aback by this.
“You knew,” Barnois said. “You were the…”
“Look into my eyes Naples,” the Doctor said. “Do I look like a man who would kill?”
“We shall not have this nonsense,” Barnois protested.
“Naples, tell me! What do your instincts tell you? I swear I didn’t know there was more than one of these murders.”
“I…believe you,” Naples replied confused. “Though I do not know why.”
“Are you insane?” Barnois shouted as he leapt to his feet.
“Sit down Chief Inspector,” Naples ordered.
“This man is a killer sir,” Barnois shouted. “He’s hypnotised you!”
“I shall not suffer there outrageous accusations,” the Doctor roared.
“It is not an accusation it is the truth through and through,” Barnois returned.
“You have no substantial evidence to hold me here. I demand that you let me and my companion go.” Barnois laughed.
“We will do no such thing.”
“You have no choice man!”
“He’s right,” Naples said. “We can’t hold him. There’s not enough real evidence.”
“Listen to yourself sir,” Barnois said in exasperation. “He’s tricked you somehow.”
“Listen to yourself Barnois,” the Doctor ordered. Barnois turned to retaliate when an officer, again in civvies, burst inside.
“There has been another one sir,” he said panting. Barnois and Naples looked back in surprise.
“Now how did I manage to be here and be killing at the same time then Barnois?” the Doctor said sarcastically. He turned and started to walk out before he realised no one was following him. “Well come on Naples man, we don’t have forever.” With that he left the room and Naples quickly followed.
As they left the building an officer brought Alana to them.
“What happened?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you a little bit later,” the Doctor replied as they got inside a car and it sped off, lights and sirens blaring.
The car pulled up to where they had been told the murder had occurred and the Doctor was out of the car almost before it had stopped. He jostled to the front of the crowds and through the policemen holding them back.
He kneeled down as Naples and Alana approached. Just as before empty clothes lay on the ground and this time there were three of them. The Doctor lifted them up and threw them to one side to discover another three small piles of ash, much to Naples apparent distaste.
“Is it human again?” Alana asked.
“Of course it is,” the Doctor retorted having no real time for questions with obvious answers. He pulled the sonic screwdriver out and scanned them before frowning at the readings.
“What is it?” Alana asked.
“There’s not enough,” the Doctor mumbled. He looked up at a confused looking Alana and Naples before getting back to his feet and nodding down at the piles. “What do you notice about the ash?” he asked. Naples shook his head. Alana stood for a moment pondering.
“It’s not completely black,” she tried.
“Obviously,” the Doctor replied with a sigh. “That’s just because it’s human ash. No the thing is there isn’t enough of it.” Alana frowned. “There’s not enough ash there to account for three entire human beings. There’s barely enough for the legs.”
“And you know this how exactly?” Naples asked. The Doctor looked at him blankly and held his sonic screwdriver aloft. Naples looked confused.
“Just trust him, he knows,” Alana told Naples. He nodded slowly. “So what does it mean Doctor?”
“Well whatever it is turning these things into ash isn’t just killing them. The rest of them has to go somewhere and…”
“You do not still believe these lies sir?” Barnois protested as he arrived at the scene.
“It is the truth,” the Doctor said through gritted teeth.
“Nothing exists that can turn people into ash, nothing at all.”
“Aliens,” the Doctor replied simply.
“There is no such…”
“Christmas Day two thousand and five,” he replied again.
“A hoax,” Barnois argued. The Doctor and Alana both turned and stared at him in disbelief.
“Typical, I would end up with someone who’s a real conspiracy theorist wouldn’t I,” the Doctor moaned.
“Don’t worry Doctor, I believe you,” Naples said. The Doctor looked at him with relief and Barnois looked at him in disbelief. “You are dismissed Barnois.”
“I said go away inspector,” Naples demanded. With a cry of enragement Barnois turned and disappeared. “So what now?”
“Well I….” The Doctor trailed off mid sentence when he noticed a black dressed man turning a corner far off. The Doctor, without saying a word, took off down the street after him.
He turned the corner and found no one and nothing just like the last time. Alana appeared behind him.
“You keep running off,” she panted. The Doctor again said nothing but instead turned and walked straight past Alana looking around the square. “What is it?” Alana demanded out of frustration.
“When we got here I immediately thought something was different,” the Doctor explained. “I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but now…” Again he trailed off. He looked Alana directly in the eyes. “Look around, what does Paris seem to suddenly have an incredible excess of?”
Alana looked around as she had been told. Nothing struck out at her. She shook her head signifying she didn’t know.
“Well normally you’d expect Paris to be full of cafes, shops, the tourist industry. So I ask you, how come there are so many funeral parlours?” He pointed at several places in the square. “One, two, three, see they’re sprouting up everywhere. Old restaurants, run down gift shops. Why has there been such a sudden boom in the funeral business?”
“Is that rhetorical?” Alana replied not sure if he was looking for an answer. The Doctor looked back at her.
“Of course it is,” he replied with almost a scoff. “I already know the answer. Both times we’ve been to one of these supposed crime scenes I’ve noticed a man, pale and gaunt, dressed in black, walking away from the gathered crowd.”
“You think they are undertakers?”
“They have it written all over them. It would have been more subtle to brand themselves with the undertaker across the forehead in big letters for pities sake.”
“You think these are the men we are looking for?” Naples asked as he approached. “My men are cleaning it all up, dispersing the crowds,” he answered to Alana’s unasked question.
“They are yes,” the Doctor said. “Alien undertakers, not killing mankind but…but…”
“But what?” Alana pressed. The Doctor looked at her.
“I don’t know,” he answered.
“Wait a minute how come you suddenly just figured all of this out?” Naples said wanting to slow everything down. “It just suddenly came to you?”
“Both times I’ve seen one of these undertakers I’ve chased them and they disappeared around corners. Both corners, now I look again…” He pointed at the corners and at the buildings on them. “…both have funeral parlours on them. Coincidence? I don’t think so.”
“What are they up to though?” Naples pressed.
“One way to find out,” Alana answered walking off heading towards one of the parlours. The Doctor turned to Naples.
“The girl is learning,” he said with a smile before walking after her.
He overtook her and approached the glass door. The word closed was displayed. The Doctor tried to the door handle but it was locked and so started to search his pockets.
“Shut in mid afternoon?” Naples said. “How very strange.”
The Doctor pulled out his familiar screwdriver and unlocked the door stepping inside with his two friends right behind him.
“Hello?” the Doctor shouted. He walked over to the desk and began to ring the bell frantically. He leaned over and tried to get a look at the other side of the door. “Is anyone in?” No answer came.
“Well now what?” Naples said.
The Doctor did not answer but instead climbed over the desk and landed on the other side heading cautiously towards the door. Alana saw Naples looking rather outraged once again.
“Nothing can stop him when he starts,” she explained. She then followed the Doctor clambering over the desk. Naples remained adamantly on the other side of the desk.
The Doctor turned to Alana and placed a finger on his lips, gesturing her to be quiet. He gently pushed open the door as quietly as he could. On the other side was a large room filled with vertically aligned coffins, each one closed and sealed. There was a strange silence in the air and the drapes of the room fluttered in the breeze. If death had a smell then that smell was drowning the room.
The Doctor, seeing no one was in there with them, walked forwards and tried to open one of the coffins with the sonic screwdriver but to no avail. He shook his head.
“If I encounter one more deadlock seal,” he said threateningly. He turned and looked around the room.
“They’re hiding something,” Alana said. The Doctor looked at her. “Something in the coffins. Whatever it is they want to hide it otherwise why use a deadlock seal? If they’re hiding it then…”
“Then they’re waiting till the time is right,” the Doctor said finishing the train of thought.
“But for what?”
“For not killing them,” the Doctor replied looking at Alana. He turned and began feeling the walls carefully. Suddenly he stopped in a far corner. He turned to Alana again. “Just as I suspected, a hidden door. I can feel it. That’s how they disappeared. But why didn’t the sonic screwdriver detect it?” A voice rang out from the reception area.
“Who are you?” the gaunt undertaker demanded in his whisper of a voice. He turned to see the Doctor and Alana emerge. “You should not be in here. This is breaking and entry I shall call the police.”
“I am the police,” Naples responded. The undertaker turned to look at him sharply. “And you are a murderer.” Naples turned to the Doctor and Alana. “There’s been another murder and then two seconds later he walks through the door.” The Doctor turned and looked at the undertaker.
“Who are you people?” he asked. “What do you want with Paris? Or the French?”
“I am not at liberty to divulge such information,” the undertaker responded. The Doctor sneered and aimed his sonic screwdriver at the undertaker.
“Your sonic device is not capable of harming my species. Our technology has developed beyond the synthetic.” The Doctor frowned and looked at the screwdriver then back at the undertaker.
“That’s why I couldn’t detect the hidden doors,” he said. “I’ve never encountered your race before. How?”
“You know too much. You are a security threat. You can not be allowed to threaten the Feast. It is dinner time.” The undertaker slowly removed his hands to reveal his gaunt skeletal hands before dropping the black gloves on the floor. He took a step forwards and suddenly Naples pulled out a gun.
“You shall stop there monsieur,” he ordered. “I shall shoot you.” The undertaker continued to advance as Naples began to back away. He fired a shot at the undertaker but it did nothing. The bullet hit him and what seemed to be dust flew from his body. Naples emptied an entire clip but the undertaker continued to advance, flexing his bony hands.
“Get on this side of the desk Naples,” the Doctor said as he watched the situation unfold. “Now!” he ordered.
Naples turned and frantically tried to climb over the desk, only to lose his footing in his frantic state. He slipped and fell to the floor as the undertaker was right on top of him. He grabbed Naples’ shoulder and lifted him up. Naples screamed in pain when the undertaker touched his clothes. The undertaker then placed a palm on Naples’ cheek and the French police officer once again let out an even more terrifying painful yell.
The Doctor and Alana watched as Naples’ veins turned grey beneath his skin, which in turn slowly faded into a grimy grey before Naples burst into a cloud of ash. The Doctor turned his back on the scenario shielding Alana from the ash. The undertaker looked up at the Doctor and his companion.
“Now you shall follow in his fate.” The undertaker jumped into the air and landed gracefully onto the desk. He then repeated the move landing on the floor.
“Run Alana,” he roared, throwing her over the desk. She tumbled to the floor on the other side as the undertaker attacked the Doctor.
The ghostly figure placed his hand on the Doctor’s cheek from behind. Alana let out a yell and the Doctor arched his back ready for the pain. But it didn’t come. Nothing happened. The undertaker removed his hand and used the other one but again nothing happened. The Doctor took advantage of the confusion and rammed his elbow into the stomach of the creature before leaping over the desk and pulling Alana outside with him.
The two ran back towards the crowd yelling at them to run for their lives. They simply turned and looked around in confusion, some laughing, some listening, some not sure what to do. Barnois, hearing the commotion, made his way towards the Doctor and Alana.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. “Where is Monsieur Naples?”
“He died,” the Doctor replied panting. “Barnois you need to get these people out of here now.”
“I will do no such thing,” he said. “You however are going straight to jail. Officers, arrest these two at once.”
“You’re making a grave mistake,” the Doctor said as the officers grabbed him and Alana.
“Are you going to stop with the puns?” Alana said.
“I thought it was a good one!” the Doctor protested.
In the parlour the undertaker rose to his feet once more. His head jerked to the side like a dog when it doesn’t understand something.
“We must accelerate the awakening. A complication has occurred. One of them is not human. He is not edible. The Feast must begin now.” He stood in silence for a moment before his head returned to normal. He leant back and let out a loud primal noise, like the snarl of a cat.
Suddenly the coffins in every funeral parlour moved forwards with a crash. The doors swung open and out of them stepped dozens on identical gaunt tall pale skeletal creatures, all dressed in the same black costume.
They moved silently out of the funeral parlour doors in single file rows. They moved forwards until the last one had exited then the rows turned and faced the gathered crowd.
The Doctor managed to break free of his guard and took a step forwards. He looked around him. The creatures had encircled the crowd.
“What is this?” Barnois spat at the Doctor.
“Let me talk to them.”
“Because if I don’t you’re all going to die!” the Doctor snapped. He barged past Barnois not waiting for an answer and approached the line in which the undertaker he had fought stood.
“Identify yourself,” the creatures said, everyone in unison.
“I am the Doctor.”
“You are not human.”
“I’m a Time Lord,” he replied.
Barnois turned and looked at Alana as if to say what the hell is going on. She looked back and shrugged.
“Long story,” she said.
“How did you arrive here?”
“It’s irrelevant,” the Doctor replied. “Who are you?”
“We are the Funebres.”
“Never heard of you.”
“We have been in hibernation. We must feed.”
“Hibernation?” the Doctor replied. “For how long exactly?”
“One thousand years we have slept. For one thousand years we will feed.”
“And then hibernate again…” the Doctor mumbled. “There’s no wonder I’ve never encountered you. One thousand years ago not even I was here. You said you were feeding? You turn them into ash and…”
“The ash is our sustenance. We must feed. Prepare yourselves.” The Funebres began to advance on the crowd stepping in rhythm with one another.
“Wait, please, there has to be another way!” the Doctor protested. It was no use. The Funebres continued to advance. He turned and ran back towards the crowd.
“What do we do Doctor?” Alana asked over the crowd who had now begun to shout and move closer together. “They’ve got us surrounded.”
“You want to know what to do?” the Doctor asked. “Ok. RUN!” he roared. “Run! Don’t let them touch you!”
The crowd erupted in screams and ran off in all directions. The Funebres split rank and chased them. Humans were caught and turned into ash. The screaming grew. The Doctor grabbed Alana’s hand and ran off in one direction followed closely by Barnois and several others.
A line of three Funebres halted them in their tracks. The Doctor skidded to a halt letting go of Alana. He turned and ran off back on himself again followed closely by the others. Some of them got caught and turned into ash with a scream. Again the group ran up against a line of the attacking creatures. The Doctor slowly began to back off and he looked around frantically. He saw the Eiffel Tower looming over them.
“The tower!” he shouted running off towards it. “Come on! This way!”
He jostled through the frantic crowds, dodging the Funebres as he went, checking constantly behind him to see if Alana and the others were still there. The chaos grew as more lines of Funebres stepped out from back streets and main roads into the square. They had awoke all over the city it looked like.
The Doctor ran up underneath the Tower and gestured to the lift. Half a dozen people ran after him and Alana and pushed themselves inside the lift. The Doctor closed the doors as the Funebres approached and set the lift off going up to the highest level.
The creatures grabbed the ropes and began to climb. Alana peered out over the city. Smoke rose from the Louvers as people ran for their lives down below. The Funebres were swarming like bees around honey down in the streets below.
“Ho do we stop them?” she asked panting.
“I don’t know,” the Doctor replied.
“What do you mean you don’t know?” Alana snapped. “People down there are dieing and you don’t…”
“No I don’t know,” the Doctor snapped back. “I don’t have answers for everything. Why are everyone’s lives always on my shoulders? You can think for yourself, you can…”
Suddenly the lift jolted to a halt. The Doctor and everyone else stumbled forwards. The Doctor looked around.
“They must have used the emergency locks,” Barnois stated. The Doctor looked up and noticed a hatch in the lift roof. He got Barnois to give him a leg up and used the sonic screwdriver to undo the hatch, climbing up onto the roof.
“Everyone out,” he ordered. “Alana you first.” He held out his hand pulled his assistant up. “Get onto the stairs,” he told her. “Now!” She turned and grabbed the stairs gladly removing herself from the shaking lift. “Go to the top!” the Doctor ordered.
Together he and Barnois began to evacuate the others, sending them up the stairs. One man was left when a Funebres hand smashed the door windows and managed to heave the doors open. The man screamed in fright and frantically tried to grab the Doctor and Barnois’ hand. The Funebres grabbed his trouser leg but, due to it not being bare skin, the man didn’t turn to ash but pain did shoot through his body.
The Doctor and Barnois jostled for control but the Funebres proved too strong. If they didn’t let go the three of them would end up dead. The Doctor looked into the man’s eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m so sorry.” He let go. The man was snatched from Barnois and pulled into the lift before exploding into ash.
“You killed him!” Barnois protested.
“Get onto the steps now and don’t argue!” the Doctor snapped. “Go before we both end up dead.” He pushed Barnois who grabbed the stairs and began to climb followed closely by the Doctor.
The Funebres were in hot pursuit. The leading creature kept grabbing the Doctor’s foot but it had no effect on him. Every time the Doctor managed to kick the foot off and advance upwards slightly further.
Eventually he reached the top like everyone else. The wind was billowing. He stumbled forwards and Alana gave him a hand to steady him.
“What now?” she shouted over the gushing wind.
“I don’t know,” the Doctor replied helplessly.
The leading Funebres appeared at the head of the stairway and got up onto the highest platform on the Tower standing before its potential victims as his companions also joined them.
The Doctor slowly backed the crowd off towards the edge of the Tower. The Funebres advanced. The Doctor suddenly stopped and took a step forwards raising his hands in the air.
“Stop now!” he roared with ferocity. The Funebres, to his surprise, did just this. They stood waiting for an explanation. “This ends now!”
“We must feed. The Feast will continue. It is…”
“Going to stop!” the Doctor interrupted. “These people aren’t live stock. They’re not food. They have promise. They have potential. You’re going to end that because…because you’re hungry? Why?”
“The Link must continue. We must feed.”
“Link? What Link?”
“We must feed.” Again the Funebres began to advance. Far down below that primal cat like snarl filled the air. Alana ran to the edge and dared to look over to see the vast Funebres hoard ascending the scaffolding heading right for them.
“Doctor, they’re climbing the Tower!” she shouted. The Doctor looked at her and back at the advancing Funebres. A thought occurred.
He ran to the edge and climbed up on the scaffold. The wind almost knocked him off balance but he managed to stay on.
“On the railing, everyone, now!”
“Are you insane?” Barnois shouted.
“Perhaps but that isn’t up for discussion.”
“Listen to him and you’ll probably die!” Barnois protested as the creatures continued to slowly advance.
“Don’t listen to me and you certainly will die!” the Doctor roared. “Now up on the railing!” Alana suddenly jumped up and gained her balance carefully.
“Come on!” she shouted.
Slowly one by one the humans got onto the railing. The Funebres suddenly came to a halt.
“What is the meaning of this action?” they demanded.
“If you carry on we’ll jump,” the Doctor said. “You’ll lose you’re food supply and you’ll starve to death.” The Funebres had to stand and think. A sudden gush of wind almost knocked one of the people off but he managed to grab the scaffolding below and hold onto it tight.
“You will not jump.” They started to advance again and the Doctor dared to stand on one foot, holding the other one over the edge.
“He’s insane,” Alana said to herself. It did, however, make the Funebres stop again.
“State your demands.”
“You said Link? Is it a symbiotic cognitive link?”
“What’s one of them then?” Alana asked.
“For people who will probably fall to your death at any moment you seem quite calm,” Barnois said in a panicky voice.
“Their minds are linked together. You feed one you feed them all.” He turned to face the Funebres again. “I have a proposal,” he said jumping off the railing onto the platform. He walked over to one of the Funebres. He held out his hand.
The Funebres grabbed it suddenly as if expecting to kill him. When nothing happened it tilted its head like a dog again. The Doctor smiled.
“Time Lord remember? Your little cancer skin doesn’t affect me. Nor will it affect any other of my species.”
“What is your proposal?”
“If you do not leave this world my people will come and they will wipe out humanity. You will slowly starve to death painfully and agonisingly. And don’t think my people are incapable of wiping out mankind because they’re corrupt, decadent to the core. They would have no qualms about it.” The Funebres stood in thought for a moment.
“We have no ship. No means of transportation.”
“I do. A very big ship. It can take you…”
“Your offer is unacceptable. We shall feed.”
“Then you leave me no other choice,” the Doctor said solemnly. He grabbed one of the Funebres and held him, both hands clasped on the chin. “I’ll break his neck!” the Doctor shouted. “You have a cognitive link, I kill one of you I kill you all. A fundamental weakness in all you hoard species isn’t it? One I’d have long tried to have fixed.”
“You will not kill.”
“You want to bet?” he replied. “Decadent to the core remember? I’m just another one of them.” The Doctor pretended to break the neck of the Funebres but didn’t. They started forwards. The Doctor smiled. “Afraid of death, just like everything else.”
“What would you have us do?”
“I told you, leave.”
“No.” They began to advance once again. The Doctor again went to break the creature’s neck. This time it didn’t work. Alana looked back over the edge to see the Funebres climbing once again.
“Oh dear,” the Doctor said letting go of the creature and pushing him towards his kin. “Time for plan B.”
“What’s that?” Alana shouted.
“Run!” he roared.
The people jumped down from the railing and went to run off. Barnois however managed to pause them for a moment, after having helped the man on the scaffold back up.
“There are enough of us to take them. Come on!” he roared. “Charge them! We can win! We are French!” He turned and gestured for them to attack. He ran at the advancing creatures taking one down. Before the others could kill Barnois the crowd of Frenchmen and tourists followed suit, attacking the walking feasters.
The Doctor pulled Alana away and watched as the battle broke out. He watched as one after another of the people turned into ash by a simple touch. Barnois however was too quick for them.
Barnois grabbed one by the head and twisted it as hard as he could. The spine snapped. The Funebres collapsed to the floor in a dead heap. The remaining feasting creatures stopped exactly where they were and began to have spasms and fits, shaking and jerking. One by one they screamed and then themselves turned into dust, which scattered in the wind.
All over Paris the remaining creatures did the same. Humanity and their perseverance in the face of death had won the day. Barnois, atop the Eiffel Tower, turned to the Doctor.
“You see Doctor, some times all you need to do is show some ruthlessness.”
“You should not have murdered them.”
“It was them or us Doctor you saw that. You tried to bluff them so many times and failed. I saved the day. Tomas Barnois saved the Earth today Doctor. I shall get medals.”
“Enjoy them,” the Doctor replied with a sneer. He turned and walked off.
“And one more thing Doctor,” Barnois replied arrogantly. “I’d love to play you at poker some day. I’d make a fortune.” He laughed cockily as the Doctor descended the steps.
“Aren’t we going to help them deal with the aftermath?” Alana asked running to keep up with the Doctor who was striding swiftly back towards the Tardis.
“You saw how cocky he was,” the Doctor replied referring to Barnois. “I hope he gets what ever it is coming to him. I’ve never really liked the French all that much. Even she didn’t really…” He trailed off.
“She?” Alana asked.
“They can learn to sort their own mess out,” the Doctor snapped bitterly. They continued in silence for a moment.
“Just a couple of things I don’t understand Doctor,” Alana said as the Tardis came into view. “You said you’re people would…”
“They’ve been sleeping for a thousand years; they didn’t know my people were…” Again he trailed off.
“How did you know breaking their neck would, you know. I mean if you’ve never…”
“They were a hoard species yes but they were also vertebrates,” the Doctor explained opening the Tardis door. “Break the spine and kill them. The same as any other vertebrate.”
“Don’t you ever shut up!” the Doctor snapped as the Tardis door closed behind them.
Slowly those familiar groans and whines filled the air as the strange blue box disappeared just as if nothing had ever happened.