Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

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Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:21 pm

“But you are correct in your knowledge of who and what I truly am.....” Pale hands, not even remotely burned in the light of the sun, gripped the other curtain. “For you have foolishly chosen to pit yourself against the one, true ruler of the night, the Lord of ALL vampires......”

The curtain was flung back, bathing the entire room in sunlight---and illuminating the laughing form that now stood before the window, his gaze fixed upon the Doctor.

“....you have set yourself against the might of Vlad Tepes Dracula...”

Faintly, the Time Lord was aware of the door opening behind him; the smell he'd noted upon entering the room, and had faintly picked up from the crime scene at Budgens, was now far stronger---and directly behind him, as Dracula's laugh filled the room. Two more vampires---they couldn't have been anything else, judging from the rankness of the breath now on his neck---were at his sides.....

“..and for this, YOU WILL DIE!

Before anyone could make any move against the Doctor---even as he braced himself for the inevitable---a voice from somewhere down the corridor started shouting: “WILL YOU KEEP IT DOWN IN THERE?! PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO RELAX AND ENJOY THEIR FREE TIME OVER HERE!”

Dracula gave the briefest glance towards the door. “....Graaf, Lucia, would one of you please close the---”

“I MEAN, WE CAME ALL THE WAY OUT HERE, FROM DEL BOCA VISTA, OF ALL PLACES, FOR A LITTLE PEACE AND QUIET, AND WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH SOME WEIRDOS ACTING OUT A HORROR MOVIE FIVE ROOMS AWAY?!” A woman's voice, sounding exasperated even from five rooms down the corridor, could faintly be heard giving an admonishing “Just let them be, Morty”, only to be drowned out by a chorus of other complaints from other rooms.

Whatever annoyance he was feeling due to the interruption, Dracula chose to ignore it. “Graaf, would you kindly deal with the interlopers and get back here to---”

“INTERLOPERS! OH, WE'RE INTERLOPERS NOW, ARE WE?! WE'RE PAYING GUESTS HERE---”

With a measured stride and a scowl on his lips, Dracula crossed the room and leaned out into the corridor. “IF YOU DO NOT MIND,” he thundered, “I AM CONDUCTING PRIVATE BUSINESS IN MY SUITE, AND I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT IF---”

“IF YOUR BUSINESS IS SO PRIVATE, CLOSE THE STINKING DOOR! EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU!”

A low growl escaped Dracula's lips. “Graaf, Lucia....go to the room that insufferable cretin is staying in and---”

“OH, SO I'M A CRETIN, NOW?! THAT'S IT, I'M CALLING THE MANAGER!”

While all of this commotion was going on, with both Graaf and Lucia currently occupied with trying to figure out whether or not they should go door-to-door and tear up everyone's rooms, the Doctor had already extricated himself from their grasp and was silently moving closer to the door. The suboordinate vampires, apparently too transfixed by the argument to notice he was missing, had already moved out into the hall as the shouting match between Dracula and the American tourist who'd apparently decided to call the manager on him reached its apogee...thus, they only noticed the Time Lord slipping out of the room just as he brushed past Dracula and broke into a sprint down the hall.

“What----THE DOCTOR! He's getting away---GRAAF, LUCIA, STOP HIM!” Dracula's glare caught the heels of the Doctor's shoes as he turned a corner at the far end of the hall. “FIND HIM, AND BRING HIM BACK---”

“I JUST CALLED THE MANAGER, AND HE'S ON HIS WAY UP HERE RIGHT NOW!”

For his part, the Doctor couldn't help but grin at the turn of events that had allowed his escape; he'd been prepared to use one of the many anti-vampire countermeasures he'd retrieved from Jack's cache, but a good opportunity like this---no matter how bizarre the circumstances were---had to be utilized to the fullest potential.

Still, hearing Dracula shout “TO HELL WITH THE MANAGER!” was a nice, surreal bonus....

Just need to make it back to the elevator, make it back to the ground floor and tell Danielle to get up here and arrest Dracula's two flunkies.....assuming they won't just tear through their handcuffs.....speaking of which, where are they----

A quick glance over his shoulder allowed the Doctor to see just where Dracula's “flunkies” were---the male, Graaf, was charging down the corridor with malicious intent, throwing people aside and overturning anything and everything he had to just to reach the Doctor. A room service cart he brutally shoved aside was only spared from losing its contents thanks to Lucia, the female vampire, stopping it so it wouldn't knock her over.

I'll admit, they're persistent...I need something to keep them occupied.....

On the wall ahead, a fire extinguisher presented an inviting opportunity for a distraction.

Let's hope the valve on this thing is well maintained.....

Without breaking stride, the Doctor grabbed the Sonic Screwdriver from his coat pocket, aiming it at the fire extinguisher and pressing the activator switch---seconds later, the extinguisher began to shake, as if the foam inside were about to burst out. A door at the end of the hall presented a welcome opportunity to duck in and temporarily cool his heels.....except he had no idea who might be in the room at the time.

I'll apologize later. Right now...

As he'd hoped, the extinguisher burst into foamy life just as Graaf and Lucia were passing it, spraying the two of them (and everything else in the immediate vicinity) with fire-suppressing foam. Both vampires slipped and fell over each other trying to get out of the stuff, with Graaf swearing at the top of his lungs that he'd rip out the throats of whoever left the extinguisher on a mount at that particular area of the hotel. Even Lucia's attempts to shut him up only drew more curious onlookers....

….which gave the Doctor all the time he needed to slip, unseen, into the open door at the end of the hall.

“Okay, anyone in here looking for an explanation,” he declared, closing and locking the door behind him (with a bit of help from the Sonic Screwdriver), “I'll be more than happy to give it.....” He turned to face his potential audience, and found only one occupant in the room---a smartly-dressed 20-something woman with a smartphone raised almost to her ear, as if she were about to call someone. “....there's a perfectly logical explanation for this, ma'am,” he assured her. “For starters, I'm not a burglar---”

“I should hope not,” the young woman replied, setting down the smartphone. “Dressed like that, you'd make quite a scene just trying to get away....though that still doesn't explain why you're in my room right now----”

“Yeah, about that---oh, this thing right here...” He held up the Sonic Screwdriver, taking a few steps further into the room to let the woman get a closer look at it. “....it's not a weapon, if you're wondering. Just a screwdriver. Sonic, actually....ah, is there anything in here that actually uses screws, or am I just---”

“I know what a sonic screwdriver is,” the woman replied, somewhat amused. “UNIT has a prototype, now.”

The Doctor was slightly taken aback. “Do they really....well, shows what I get for sharing knowledge with their best and brightest---ANYWAY. Back to why I'm here.”

“I was hoping we'd get to that.” The young woman planted both hands on her hips. “Care to explain?”

“I was hoping you'd ask that.” The Doctor grinned. “Can I sit down, first?”

“....sure.”

“Thanks.” The Doctor nearly fell onto the bed, but managed to land in a sitting position instead. “If you heard that, ah, commotion from a few rooms away....”

“That was you?”

“That was someone about to do something regrettable to me, until the reality of making a threat like that while standing in a hotel room with an open door set in. A guest five doors down called the manager, but two other, ah, 'guests' decided to chase after me---they're not friends of mine, and no matter what you might think or what they might say, none of this is any kind of prank or game, or anything like that.”

Something in the Doctor's tone convinced the young woman that he wasn't crazy or just making it all up off the top of his head. “.....fair enough. And these two are...”

“Currently covered in fire-extinguisher foam out in the hall. They're probably going to come knocking in a few minutes, asking....or, knowing them, demanding that you tell them where I am.” The Doctor glanced back over his shoulder; Graaf was still swearing out in the corridor. “No matter what they say, or what they threaten to do to you,” he intoned, “don't tell them that I'm here. If they ask, tell them I took the stairs or something....just don't let them know I'm here.”

“And why were you here---in the hotel, I mean---to begin with?” the young woman inquired, frowning.

“.....I probably shouldn't mention this,” the Doctor admitted, “but I'm helping Chief Inspector Lauden investigate the murders around town---”

“The vampire murders?” the young woman gasped. “You're helping Lauden with that investigation?!”

“Yeah, that one....we were actually here earlier, and....wait, who's calling it the vampire murders?”

The young woman rolled her eyes. “Not much else you can call it, when the corpses are drained of blood...and don't give me that look! I'm not with any of the tabloids, or anything like that---I work for the local press, the kind that actually wants to give the people honest news, because they need to know what's going on! The police haven't been telling us anything---”

“Yeah, well, considering how the name you're giving to the case is right on the nose.....”

The Doctor's remark prompted a shocked look. “....you...you don't mean....”

“I'm afraid so. The killers actually are vampires. And two of them are in the hallway right now, probably still cleaning foam off of themselves---”

Three loud, sharp knocks on the door cut him off.

“....like I said, I'm not here.” The Doctor quietly backpedaled to the bathroom, doing his best to not trip over anything (including his own feet). “They're going to ask if I'm here,” he whispered. “I know I just barged into your room and all without asking, and such....but please don't tell them I'm here, okay?”

Despite her misgivings, the young woman nodded. “Just...don't mess anything up in there, please.”

“Wouldn't dream of it.” The Doctor winked. “When they leave, just say 'might as well check the TV listings'.”

Again, the young woman nodded. “....fair enough.”

Just as the door to the bathroom closed, the knocking on the door of the room got even louder. “And here, I thought today would be boring....” The woman sighed as she made her way to the door---noticing that her “visitor” had gone so far as to engage the security chain on the door, in addition to locking it behind him.

“Who is it?” she inquired.

“Someone came through here earlier,” a rather annoyed male voice replied. “We were following him---”

“Sorry, I, ah...I don't know what you're talking about. I'm the only person in here.”

“We know he didn't take the elevator---if he's in there, we're just interested in him!”

“I just said I'm the only person in here---you're going to have to give me a good reason for letting you in, or---”

“OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!” The door pull shook, and the door itself rattled---whoever was on the other side had given up on trying to be civil. “OPEN THIS DOOR NOW, OR I SWEAR---”

Someone else in the corridor muttered “it's not worth it”, and after another door-rattling shake, the male voice uttered an unprintable epithet before stalking off down the hall, growling all the while. Just before leaving hearing range, he half-shouted “He's in there, I know he is....I'd smell him, now, if it wasn't for all that damn foam!” Something was kicked across the corridor.....

….and after that last burst of noise, utter silence.

“....might as well check the TV listings.” The woman backed away from the door just as the Doctor emerged from the bathroom. “How'd it go?”

“See for yourself.” The young woman gestured at the door, where the pull had shifted by half an inch.

“.....wow. Guess the, ah, fire extinguisher trick got on their nerves a LOT more than I thought it would...then again, I'd probably be a bit irritated if someone sprayed me with foam as a diversion. ANYway....I have to be off, but thanks for letting me hide in the bathroom for a bit!” The Doctor grinned and headed for the door, only to pause. “Ah, sorry, but I just realized that I never once asked your name during all of this commotion...”

“....Smith. Sarah Smith.”

“Sarah Smith...” The Doctor nodded. “Has a bit of a ring to it, but....it's missing something, if you ask me. You wouldn't happen to have a middle name, would you?”

“....I haven't used it in years, but....Jane.”

“Sarah Jane Smith.....yes, that's much better! It suits you!” The Time Lord grinned. “Sarah Jane Smith....a most impressive name for a journalist indeed.” He shook Sarah Jane's hand with both of his own. “I must say, it's been a pleasure making your acquaintance, Sarah Jane Smith,” he declared. “Hopefully, when and if we ever meet again, it can be under far more....well, far saner circumstances, at least.” With a final bow (and a brief kiss to Sarah Jane's hand), the Time Lord headed out the door. “I hope your coverage of the vampire murders can shed some light on the case for the general public!”

“Likewise....ah, but I didn't get your name----”

The Time Lord poked his head back into the room. “Oh, right, how silly of me. I'm the Doctor.”

“Ah, but....Doctor Who?!” Sarah Jane called out after her retreating “guest”.

“Just the Doctor!”
------------------------------
“.....and they kicked over a room service cart, right. Well, I can have them charged with destruction of property and possibly disorderly conduct, if they stick around long enough to cause any further problems, but I still need to---” Danielle Tomlinson's conversation with the manager of the Xanadu was interrupted by the lift door opening to reveal the Doctor---out of breath, but grinning like a fiend. “Sergeant Tomlinson,” he beamed, “fancy running into you down here again!”

“Doctor, what the hell went on up there?” Danielle demanded. “I've got calls coming in about shouted death threats, maids being shoved around, room service carts kicked across the corridor---”

“Let's take a walk, Sergeant. D'you mind if we take a walk right now? I think a walk would do us both good, I really do....” The Doctor guided Danielle away from the manager, barely giving her enough time to shrug in a somewhat apologetic manner. Both of them passed by the bellhop on the way through the front entrance of the Xanadu; this time, the man's stare was focused on the lift, rather than on either the Doctor or Danielle.

Once the two were outside, the Doctor's demeanor turned far more business-like: “It's him. Baron Giles Lathos is, in all manner and matter of fact, Dracula.”

“....I...how...” Danielle gave up trying to figure out the Time Lord's sudden mood swing. “You're sure?”

“Positive. And the two vampires who were chasing me around after I got away from him----”

“There were two more?!”

“You'll recall that I suspected as much during our last conversation, before we boarded the elevator---or as a native Brit would say, the lift....” The Doctor sighed. “In any case, they're both working for Dracula---they had the same smell on them that I briefly noticed at the crime scene....kind of a mixture of blood and fat. Seeing as how I smelled it when they were right behind me in Dracula's hotel room, it's pretty safe to assume that they rubbed it onto their skin for some reason---”

“Maybe they're using it like sunscreen,” Danielle muttered, only to notice the Doctor stop in his tracks. “What are---no. You don't...you can't actually think---”

“Sunlight didn't kill Dracula, and he's....centuries old,” the Doctor reasoned. “What if those other two---Graaf and Lucia, I think their names are.....what if they still suffer from some kind of side-effects from conducting their business in broad daylight, and they need some extra form of protection from it?”

“....that...actually makes some sense,” Danielle reluctantly admitted. “But you're basing this on---”

“Smell, Sgt. Tomlinson. I'm basing this on smell. The nose knows...and since I don't have a cold, and due to the wonderful fact that Time Lord sinuses are far less succeptible to Earth-borne allergens----” He stopped himself short. “....ah, Lauden did let you in on the fact that I'm not exactly from around here, right?” he quietly asked. “Or did I just....”

Danielle rolled her eyes. “We got the UNIT file shortly after your call, Doctor. I already knew.”

“Good, that's....that's really good, actually.” The Doctor grinned. “And they haven't started issuing their own Sonic Screwdrivers to the police or anything?”

“What---”

“OH, nearly forgot to mention...I had to hide from Graaf and Lucia, the aforementioned murderous vampires, in the room of one Miss Sarah Jane Smith---a journalist, local press. Room....actually, I forget the room number, but I'm pretty sure it had a 12 in it. Anyway, she might be able to help us....d'you have your phone on you?”

“....I never leave HQ without it---Doctor, what are you doing?!”

The Doctor had retrieved his fob watch from a coat pocket, and was aiming it at the holstered smartphone on Danielle's belt. “I just added Sarah Jane's number to your contacts list,” he replied, grinning. “The wonders of Gallifreyan technology---Wi-Fi on steroids, I believe the term would be. Oh, and I may have accidentally wiped one or two numbers when I added Sarah Jane's....the fob is listing them as not having been in regular contact for upwards of four to six months, so I'm guessing ex-boyfriends?”

“....something along those lines, yeah. And, ah....thanks.” Danielle nodded, giving a quick cough. “So, about this Sarah Jane Smith....”

“She's trying to get an honest angle on the vampire murders---her name for it, not mine---and I figure we could help each other out. Give her some honest, uncensored coverage to keep the people informed, at the very least, and in return, she'd keep the 'gutter press' away from the story---hopefully, they won't come flocking to the Xanadu after hearing about room service carts being punted down hallways, maids being shoved around like......what?” The Doctor noticed Danielle staring at the pavement. “What is it, what did I say?”

The sergeant cleared her throat, hesitantly glancing at the Doctor. “.....ah, it turns out the situation might be a bit worse than them just being shoved around,” she admitted. “The manager said a few of them have....”

“Gone missing?” the Time Lord finished. “Only to turn up again a few days later, but acting....different?”

“You could not have heard him tell me that,” Danielle gasped. “You were still in the lift!”

“Call it a massive hunch---I'm guessing one of the 'missing, then not-missing' employees was the bellhop?”

Danielle shook her head in disbelief. “.....are all Time Lords psychic?” she muttered.

At this, the Doctor actually laughed. “Now that is an accusation I haven't heard in a good long while....psychic, no. Intuitive and possessed of the deductive reasoning skills to come to such a specific conclusion? Most definitely.....also, slightly off-topic, but we're supposed to be walking to your squad car, right?”

“.....right.” Danielle shook her head. “Sorry, it's just....you figured this out while you were in the lift?”

“Seeing as how I'd thrown off Graaf and Lucia with my little fire-extinguisher trick, I figured I'd use the downtime to sort a few facts out before I met up with you, just to be on the safe side. I tend to think a lot better when I'm not being chased by vampires who intend to inflict grievous bodily harm upon my person.”

“First time I've ever heard that,” Danielle mused. “So you think we should contact this...Sarah Jane Smith?”

“You should. Tell her you're with Lauden's department, and by proxy with me.....that should clear things up, I think. Anyway, we need to get back to HQ---well, I do, but I'm guessing you have orders to stay here and keep an eye on things?” The Doctor glanced back at the Xanadu, sighing. “They'll probably force him to vacate the premises, after this little episode...meaning he'll be out of Ealing before too long.”

“So where does that leave us?”

“In the unenviable position of trying to figure out where he's going to go next---also, I'm a bit surprised that you're not more surprised about Graaf and Lucia not chasing me out here....” The Doctor glanced back over his shoulder. “....aren't you?”

Danielle frowned. “....they're vampires, Doctor. Sunlight would kill---”

“Let me stop you right there. The 'sunlight kills vampires' thing is a myth....but we'd be better off discussing this back at HQ---and speaking of which, we're back at your car!” The Time Lord grinned. “Convenient, isn't it?”

With one last glance back at the hotel, Danielle sighed. “Let's just go, already....”
-----------------------------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:32 pm

“.....Doctor, in all honesty, I don't know whether I should arrest you, give you a commendation, tell you to get the hell out of Ealing and never come back, punch you, or all four at once.” Lauden stared at the report on his desk, trying not to think of the migraine he'd inevitably be getting from this latest “adventure” the Doctor had embarked upon. “I mean, everything you did.....running out of the squad car like that, in the middle of traffic---”

“The traffic wasn't even moving,” Father Wyngarde reminded him.

“....the point is, if it had been moving, you could've been killed....” Lauden shook his head. I...I just, I don't even know what to say!”

“You could start with 'thank you',” Wyngarde offered. “Considering what we now know....”

Lauden glared at the priest---or tried to, only to find he was far too tired to pull it off convincingly.

“For the record,” the Doctor admitted, “I didn't really 'find out' anything that isn't already common knowledge. I think the whole myth of sunlight killing vampires has already been dispelled---”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Emma cut in. “Myth?! Sunlight killing vampires....is a myth?!

The Doctor frowned. “.....I thought it was public knowledge, by now....vampires being killed by sunlight was only introduced in the 1932 silent film Nosferatu, by F.W. Murnau, when he needed a satisfying way for his story's protagonist to finish off the Dracula analog, Count Orlock.....or did you not know that already---”

“Obviously,” Lauden thundered, “she bloody well DID NOT!” The slamming of his fist on the table probably would've been an effective punctuation to the statement---except Lauden had left a staple-remover in the open position right where his fist would've hit the desk, and ended up gashing his hand quite badly as a result. The awkward silence that followed was punctuated by a gasp that sounded vaguely like the word “towel”; by the time Emma thought to ask “what?”, Danielle was already running for the bathroom—leaving Lauden to translate his own request by shouting it: “TOWEL!

Five minutes later, with Lauden cradling his right hand (now wrapped in a formerly-pristine white dish towel that was rapidly tunring red) and Emma trying far too hard to act like she didn't notice Lauden's injury, the Doctor (already tired of the silence and everyone glancing at him with entreating looks to just do something to alleviate the tension in the room) decided to go over the facts of what he'd discovered at the Xanadu. “I'm pretty sure our two murderous vampires are named Graaf and Lucia,” he began. “They had this....I don't know what to call it other than 'concoction', so let's just go with that---this concoction of blood and fat on them. I could smell hints of both at the crime scene down at Budgens, and the smell was a lot stronger when they showed up back at the Xanadu to assist Dracula in 'disposing of' me.”

“So he is Dracula, then?” Emma cut in. “Baron....whatever his name was....he's actually Dracula?”

“Definitely. Exposing him to sunlight didn't even annoy him...a vampire as old as he is would find the sun to be nothing more than a mild inconvenience, nothing more. Graaf and Lucia probably needed their concoction to go out and about in the daylight....none of the reports on the nocturnal crime scenes mentioned a similar smell, which leads one to believe that they didn't need their weird formula for those particular killings....” The Doctor paused. “We may need to investigate that a bit further when we get the chance...ah, how's the hand doing, while I'm thinking about it?”

“But we are dealing with vampires, right?” Emma glanced at the still-muttering Lauden. “Not just some loonies dressed up in cloaks and running around killing random people?”

“Believe me, Emma, we're dealing with actual vampires.” The Doctor took a seat in front of Lauden's desk, resting his chin in one hand. “As for where they're going after they get kicked out of the Xanadu---”

“Wait, what?!” Emma nearly knocked over her chair. “Count Dracula is about to get kicked out of a hotel?!”

The Doctor frowned. “It's nothing to laugh at, Emma. When Graaf and Lucia were chasing after me, they had no regard for anything or anyone around them....room service carts were kicked over, people were shoved aside like punching bags, and that's not even going into how several guests on the floor Dracula's room happened to be on felt 'disturbed and menaced' by the stuff he was shouting at me.....” He shook his head at that last one. “Why Graaf didn't close the door behind him when he and his fellow Nosferatu entered the room is beyond me....”

“Can we get back to the idea of Dracula being kicked out of the hotel, though?” Father Wyngarde interjected.

“Right, yes....that. Sgt. Tomlinson was talking to the manager right before we left---and, ah, allow me to take this opportunity to apologize for bringing her back here instead of letting her complete her shift at the Xanadu.”

Lauden shook his head. “She was due for a break anyway.”

“'She' can hear you perfectly well, thank you very much,” Danielle muttered. “And for the record---”

“Whitby.”

Every eye in the room turned towards the Doctor, with looks ranging from confusion to skepticism.

“What, what is it?” The Time Lord frowned.

“You just said 'Whitby' for no reason,” Father Wyngarde mused. “Care to enlighten us?”

“Oh, that! Well, you were just talking about Dracula getting evicted from his suite at the Xanadu, and I was waiting for the conersation to turn towards where he'd be going next...” The Doctor sighed. “...except Lauden made his remark about Sgt. Tomlinson being due for a break, and things were going off track---”

“That exchange barely even lasted ten seconds,” Emma intoned. “How can you---”

“I happen to be thinking of the immediate future, thank you.....Dracula's going to leave Ealing before tomorrow afternoon, possibly even tonight. The incident at the Xanadu isn't going to go over well with anyone....” The Doctor paused, noticing Emma staring at him. “You're giving me that look again. Well, not 'again', per say, but I've seen it so often before, it's almost a second language by now.”

“And what is 'that look'?” Emma quietly asked.

“The look that says 'I know you're about to explain something incredibly complicated that you could've told us all beforehand, so just say it'...usually with subtle variances ranging from 'before I get annoyed' to 'before I get out of this chair and throttle you' thrown in. Happens more often than you'd think....” Before Emma could even respond, the Doctor shifted the topic of conversation back to his apparently-random outburst: “For any of you who've kept up with the story so far, Dracula is planning to rebuild his castle---using several castles that have, at various points in time, been associated with him. His attempt to stay in Ealing under the guise of Baron Giles Lathos was working, until Emma and myself showed up.....so now, he needs to flee Ealing and set up shop again in another city, building up goodwill and such---”

“So he is going through with the castle thing?” Emma cut in. “We're positive on that?”

“......yes, Emma, he is, in fact, going through with 'the castle thing',” the Doctor sighed. “The murders are just a distraction to keep the police force occupied while he gathers his resources---”

“But why would he be going to Whitby, of all places?” Father Wyngarde asked. “He could travel to any number of towns and cities to get away from you, and from the investigation! It sounds almost like something from---”

He stopped, as the realization hit him---and everyone in the room---at that moment.

“From Dracula,” the Doctor finished. “As in the Bram Stoker novel---which is pretty convenient, considering he did exactly that all those years ago.....what?”

Lauden took a deep breath. “You said 'all those years ago',” he intoned, “as if it actually happened.”

The Doctor stared at him, arching an eyebrow.

“.....no. You're not.....you don't actually expect.....” The Chief Inspector shook his head. “That.....you're not actually serious, are you?! I mean---”

“Tell us, Inspector,” the Doctor replied, an uncharacteristic anger in his voice. “What do you mean? We're dealing with vampires---formerly-living human beings reanimated as the undead, prowling the streets of your beloved Ealing to drain people of their blood and maybe convert them into more of their own kind---as well as Dracula himself plotting to rebuild his castle from the pieces of multiple other castles.....yet from what I can understand, the one problem you have with all of this is the POSSIBILITY that the events depicted in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula might have actually happened...” He leaned over Lauden's desk, staring into the Chief Inspector's eye from beneath a furrowed brow. “So tell me, Lauden....is that what you mean?

“Okay, Doctor, that's quite enough!” Emma pulled the Time Lord away from the desk. “It's been a long day---”

“It's 12:07 PM,” Danielle informed her.

“.....it feels like it's been a long day, and everyone's a little bit on edge from the whole vampire thing....but we can do better than biting each other's heads off over a simple misunderstanding, okay?” Emma glanced at Lauden and the Doctor in turn. “Can you two just agree to not kill each other before this is all over with?”

After a few seconds of scowling, the Doctor nodded, as did Lauden.

“Good. Now we can get to the pressing matter of MY GOD, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US THE STUFF IN THE NOVEL ACTUALLY HAPPENED BEOFRE NOW?!”

Lauden, Father Wyngarde and Danielle regarded the scene---Emma, midway through her sentence, turned on her heel and grabbed the Doctor by the lapels---with a mixture of bewilderment and---at least in the case of Father Wyngarde---mild amusement. The Doctor, on the other hand, gently pushed Emma's hands off of his coat lapels. “Seeing as how we didn't know Lathos and Dracula were one and the same,” he replied, “I'm pretty sure that particular revelation might not have gone over so well.”

“Do you not remember what you just told Lauden?!”

“Oh, you mean my little outburst that made you make us promise to not kill each other before this is all over with?” The Doctor carefully removed his glasses, checking the lenses to make sure there was no dust on them. “I remember that part perfectly well...anyway, I'll explain it in more detail on the drive---”

This time, Lauden and Danielle joined Emma's protests of “WHAT drive?!”

“To Whitby! It's going to take....what, four and a half hours, not counting----will you all let me explain?!” All complaints against the drive to Whitby trailed off as the Doctor rose from his chair. “I need to make a few more preparations....Lauden, if you're coming with us, I expect you'll be doing the same thing.”

Staring more at the ceiling than at the Doctor, Lauden nodded. “I'll get a new team on the case at once---”

“We're bringing the case with us.” The Time Lord grinned. “Give me 30 minutes to make a few calls, arrange some lodging and necessary transportation.....” He turned on his heel and headed for the door, chuckling.

“....with any luck, Dracula won't know that we know where he's headed until after we're already there!”
-----------------------------------------------------
“.....and they intend to depart for Whitby soon?”

“Before the end of the hour, master.” Graaf stared over his shoulder at the newest “converts” joining the cause of his lord. “We could easily stop them here, throw something at them that they would never----”

“You are a true warrior, Graaf,” Dracula intoned, “but you lack....vision. Stopping them in their tracks here is a practical move....but it would draw unneeded attention to us. An assault on a soon-to-be retired priest, or the Chief Inspector of Ealing's police force would be....highly unusual. Some might learn of our roles in this sordid affair sooner than others.....we cannot afford to let that happen.” He noticed Graaf's wary looks at the room full of vampires behind him. “....you don't trust them, do you?”

“They were nothing but husks when we recovered them, master,” Graaf muttered. “Some were hardly even skin and bones....some were just ash! They know nothing but hunger and rage....”

A cruel smirk played at Dracula's features. “What you see as adversity, I see as opportunity. Rage can be directed....hunger can be controlled. They may not be as.....presentable, as yourself and Lucia, but each and every one of them is just as potent a force for our cause.” He stepped aside, almost reflexively, as two stiffly-moving figures shuffled past, each one hauling a bin liner with a vaguely humanoid shape inside. “....and for those who we cannot turn,” he continued, “there are....other ways, in which they can assist us.”

“I still don't see how they can help,” Graff replied, nodding at the room of vampires. “Just because we brought them back...” He turned away, as if to spit, only to notice Dracula giving him a furitive look. “....we could've saved that blood, master. Instead of bathing their remains in it---”

Wet tearing noises cut him off---the vampires in the other room were converging on the bin liners.

“Do not think yourself superior to them merely because I personally lifted you up from the grave,” Dracula murmured, a pale hand snaking across Graaf's shoulder. “Your goals and theres are the same, in the end...as are some of your....preferences....”

The stiffly-moving figures marched past Graaf as he watched the other vampires tear apart their “victims”.

“You 'ordered in' yourself a day or two ago, I believe,” Dracula continued. “I felt it only fair to...indulge you—-”

“They've been dead for decades,” Graaf spat. “They were killed off long before you came up with this plan of yours---Lucia and I were killed trying to restore you!”

“....funny,” Dracula muttered. “Lucia's recounting of the tale is a far....different one, than yours...”

Graaf chose not to voice any contempt he may have felt at the remark, choosing instead to turn the discussion to the next phase of his master's plan. “So we're actually going to Whitby, then.”

“Astute as usual, Graaf. We are, in fact, going to Whitby.”

Depsite his annoyance at his master's sarcasm, Graaf nodded. “Will the accomodations be more...suitable?”

“There will be no more further intrusions into our sanctuaries. I will personally ensure it.” Dracula nodded. “I hope that answers your question...unless there is something else on your mind.”

“....nothing at the moment, master.”

Dracula nodded. “Then go, and tell Lucia that we are to depart for Whitby within the hour...and that we may be stopping along the way to....acquire...something to aid our cause....”

Graaf bowed and left, just as a fresh round of screams issued from the other room.
-----------------------------------------------------
“So....Whitby.”

Emma's remark roused the Doctor out of his apparent stupor in the back seat of a badged Porsche. “Hmm?”

“Whitby, Doctor. We're going to Whitby.....and I still don't get why.” Emma leaned back in the seat, failing to stifle a yawn. “We've been on the road for.....feels like three hours, now---”

“One and a half.” The Time Lord sighed. “We've only been on the road for one and a half hours.”

“.....you've been asleep this whole time! How did you---”

“I haven't been asleep, just....medidating.” The Doctor stretched a bit, giving a half-yawn. “I'm still working out all the details of what we're trying to do, what our esteemed adversary is trying to do, and how we might end up canceling each other's plans out.” He stretched again. “If everything goes well, he'll be the one getting hit with setbacks and delays all over, and everything will be smooth sailing for us.”

Something in the Doctor's tone annoyed Emma. “We're dealing with Dracula, and you're planning things out like it's just a beach holiday....”

“To be fair, I am taking this seriously,” the Doctor replied. “Lives are at stake, after all.”

“And you have no problem with that?”

“....you say that as if I enjoy the prospect of innocent people being in peril.” The Doctor wasn't smiling as he spoke. “I can assure you, Emma, that nothing could be further from the truth.”

“So you'd rather we just....save ourselves?” Emma replied.

“I'd prefer it if the forces of evil---Dracula included---would just piss off every once in a while, and leave the rest of the world alone...” The Doctor stared up at the seat of the Porsche, a sigh escaping his lips. “Sometimes, I....I honestly and truly wonder if the people I meet in any given time and place are better off when I show up, or if they'd be safer if I never did...”

A hand touched his shoulder. “You're not the one going around biting necks, Doctor,” Emma reminded him.

“But the real 'neck-biters' aren't going to go away, now that they know I'm after them,” the Time Lord intoned. “I can't afford to just look the other way and act like I'm not following them...it's a Time Lord's sworn duty to kill any vampire he comes across, after all.”

Emma's eyes went wide. “Shut up.....your people hunt vampires?”

“My people waged a war against vampires---maybe not the kind you're used to, but vampires all the same....it's not really something we're proud of, these days.” There was a strange tinge to the Doctor's words, something like sadness and a possible hint of....fear? “....anyway,” he continued, “we're dealing with another kind of monster entirely, one far more recognizable by human standards.”

“..fair enough. So Dracula is.....actually Dracula? Not an alien, not anything else?”

“He's Dracula. Not really a whole lot else one can say about that.”

“Right....” Emma rolled her eyes. “And what, exactly, is it that Dracula wants with England in the year 2025?”

The Doctor pondered the question for a few seconds. “....given that he's trying to rebuild his old castle from about four or five other castles,” he mused, “I'd say he's going with the 'pursuit of a physical symbol of a base craving' theory.”

“....you got that out of Dungeons & Dragons,” Emma muttered.

“And where do you think they got it from?” the Doctor replied. “You already know that the events of the novel Dracula actually happened---”

“Yeah, because you said they did!” Emma countered.

“So the Arkonzynes were just people in bad costumes, then?”

That remark from the Time Lord stopped Emma in her tracks. “....you are so annoying, Doctor....”

“Better to be annoying than dead....and for the record, I understand why you're so reluctant to accept that the novel could possibly have been based on facts. Accepting that vampires exist.....it's like sloughing off years of knowledge you've been comfortable with, all in favor of accepting this new, fundamentally horrific truth.”

Emma nodded. “That about sums it up, yeah...”

“I thought as much.” The Doctor redirected his glance to the window of the cruiser, watching the scenery go by; “I never really expected to have to deal with vampires myself,” he admitted. “Not like this, at least...not even on Earth!” He gave a short chuckle. “That little remark I made after we left Budgens---about aliens with sanguinary dietary habits? I wasn't kidding.”

“So alien vampires aren't just someone's lame idea for a crossover film,” Emma mused.

“No, they are not.” The Time Lord leaned back in his seat again. “And I wish I didn't know from experience...”

Neither Emma nor the Doctor spoke for about twelve minutes after that, until Emma---bored with the police radio chatter from the front seat of the Porsche---decided to jump-start the conversation: “So, that thing about pursuing physical symbols.....that wasn't just a rule made up for the tabeltop gaming crowd?”

“Nothing about studying vampires is conclusive, you have to understand,” the Doctor replied. “It's more about sorting through decades---centuries of myths, legends, scientific facts and everything in-between...” He turned his attention back to the window. “...granted, not all vampires are the same,” he quietly added. “Especially not the ones I know of....the ones my people fought.”

He could only just keep himself from adding “the ones my people feared”, even as he shivered.

“So the....Time Lords, right? Your people, the Time Lords....” Emma adjusted herself in the seat. “....they went around staking vampires through the heart with wooden---”

“It wasn't that simple,” the Doctor snapped---or tried to, only his voice sounded too tired. “....sorry. I'm just...”

“Not a fan of the 'Nosferatu'?” Emma mused.

“That's putting it mildly.....and even though we're hunting the king of the vampires himself, is it okay if we just don't talk about it for the whole rest of the drive?” The Doctor closed his eyes, trying not to focus too much on the arduous task before him. “I just....I want to focus on something a little more positive---pretty sure you'll want to do the same, before we get to Whitby.”

Emma smirked. “You think I want to spend this whole ride pondering my imminent demise?”

The Doctor actually grinned. “Such an unexpected burst of eloquence....you never cease to amaze me with your hidden depths, Emma.”

“Oh, shut up and think your happy thoughts, Doctor....”
-----------------------------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:38 pm

“.....and it was undisturbed throughout the trip?”

Had his question been addressed to the likes of Graaf or Lucia, or any of the others under his thrall, Dracula would've received his answer instantly. Unfortunately, both of his trusted acolytes were handling other matters, and as such the recipients of his question were a pair of feckless fools from “Moving Masters Inc.”, presumably a fly-by-night moving business that had only been in town for about three years. Neither of the two men---one tall, gangly and looking thoroughly bored; the other, a few inches shorter, maybe the same few inches wider and more irritable than his colleague---looked as if they had any incentive to give an immediate answer.

Feigning politeness with a smile cultivated over the centuries, Dracula made a show of clearing his throat. “Ah, gentlemen, I must ask you again---”

“It's here, innit?” the irritable-looking man snapped. “Just sign the paper.”

The vampire's smile faltered only slightly. “I must insist that you assure me the contents of this delivery have been undisturbed, and remain intact. This item is of considerable value to me---”

“Just sign. If it's out of our van, it's out of our hands.”

Ignoring the clipboard and pen thrust before him, Dracula made his way over to the crate that rested beneath the awning of the door to his newly-chosen “lair” (another hotel---the construction of his castle made it impractical to use for his own dwelling, for the time being). “In my country,” he intoned, “it is customary to at least give some assurance of an item's condition before requesting payment...I thought that, at least, was a custom that hadn't changed with the times.” He arched an eyebrow, giving the impression of one used to prompt service.

“We're here to drop it off and get paid for it,” the irritable-looking man replied, scowling. “The box ain't broken, so just sign the bloody---”

“Let 'im check,” the taller of the pair cut in. “It won't hurt nothing....”

With another winning smile and a slight nod, Dracula knelt by the crate, listening for sounds that neither of the two idiots from the movers could've possibly heard. A low, quiet rattle from inside the box turned that smile into a far more sinister smirk---for the briefest moment. With another nod, the Count rose. “....as much as I loathe to admit it,” he stated, “I may need the two of you to help me---”

“OH, no,” the irritable-looking man snapped. “We drop it off, we get the money and that's it. You want us to pop the top, you're out of luck---” He groaned as his taller colleague ambled over to the crate. “We've already got a pair of pry-bars in the van,” he mused. “Wouldn't take but a minute or two.....” He gave an idiot's grin.

“....oh, for the love of....” The irritable man shook his head, finally shuffling over to join his co-worker at the side of the crate. “....the hell's in this thing, anyway?” he muttered. “Smells like.....I dunno what....”

“It's something that I absolutely cannot do without,” Dracula replied. “I only need to take a look at it....”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah....gimme the pry-bar, will ye?” The irritable-looking man muttered under his breath, scowling all the while as he helped pry the nails out of the crate's lid. “Why we're doing any of this at all....makes me want to spit, it does....we got five more jobs this morning, and---GAAAH!” As he'd been speaking, the pry-bar had slipped---and the nail that it had abruptly yanked out had gashed his hand quite badly. “Sonova.....”

Had he been “younger”, for lack of a better term, the gout of red flowing from the wounded hand would've been all the invitation necessary for Dracula to lunge at the man and feed....but his hunger had already been sated for the day. Watching the blood spill on to the pavement below the awning, he only briefly mused on how Graaf and Lucia would've struggled to restrain themselves from tearing the fool limb from limb and draining him until nothing but a whithered corpse remained.....

“Lemme wrap it,” the taller man insisted, retrieving a relatively-clean hankercheif from his coverall pocket. “It'll go wrong on you if you don't wrap it....” He managed to secure the rag around his colleague's hand despite muttered threats and crude remarks regarding various female relatives. “....isn't that better?”

A seething glare of hatred was the only reply he received---at least, from his co-worker.

“My sincerest apologies,” Dracula stated, moving to pick up the dropped pry-bar. “Allow me to assist you, so as not to put any further strain on your injured extremity.” With the taller man helping him, it took less than two minutes to get every last nail out of the crate's lid....

….and as the Count slid the top of the crate out of the way, the two movers got their first look at the “delivery”.

“.....what in the hell....” The irritable-looking man made a face, scowling. “What kind of a gag is this?!”

“.....that.....that's a corpse, innit?” the taller man murmured, his eyes wide. “A dead body.....”

“Either you tell us what the hell is going on,” the irritable man declared, “or we're calling the coppers! Which is it gonna be?!”

“To answer your questions: this is no 'gag', I can assure you. The item you have delivered to me is, in fact, a corpse....and yet, it is so much more.....” The sonorous voice of Dracula seemed to come from everywhere around the two---but even as they turned around, the movers noticed their “employer” had disappeared. “...as for your final....offer....” A low, quiet chuckle punctuated that remark. “....you need only to take a closer look at your delivery to receive your answer.”

The two movers exchanged confused looks, before glancing back at the opened crate. The taller of the pair shrugged, and leaned in to examine just what, exactly, he'd helped to “deliver”----

----only to be pulled into the crate, screaming, by a pair of pale, lifeless hands.

The irritable-looking man backed away from the sight, trying to ignore the fact that his co-worker's frantically kicking legs were beginning to slow. All he'd need to do was get in the van, turn the key, and floor it from here to the next job---or better yet, to the nearest police station. This whole job had gone sideways on him...if he could just get into the van before---

“Stop.”

A single word, resonating like the peal of a bell through the now-terrified man's brain. “....what? I...I can't....I can't bloody move.....what the hell---”

“Be silent. Stay perfectly still.”

Someone approached the terrified mover, who---despite every synapse in his brain telling him to do the exact opposite of what that...that voice had told him---was unable to move so much as a finger. The command to be silent kept him from screaming any number of the profanities on his tongue, or making any kind of entreaty or plea....all he wanted to do was get in the van and just go.....

“That pry-bar, at your feet.....pick it up.”

Tears streamed down the mover's face; he could still hear his co-worker being....killed, however it might've been happening, in the crate, yet he couldn't even do so much as tell him to hang in there. And now he was picking up the same stupid pry-bar responsible for pulling the nail that had gashed his hand...a little bit of blood had stained the edge of it, where the nail had been.

“Walk over to the crate, behind your friend.”

Had he been asked, by a committee, a police investigator or even a judge, why he did what he was about to do, the mover with the pry-bar in his hands couldn't have provided enough words to describe the horror going through his mind as he moved towards his colleague. Even worse, as if on cue, whatever monstrosity was inside the crate had actually let the taller man go.....

….which would've been perfectly fine, if the unfortunate soul looked remotely normal, rather than having the countenance of a man who'd aged fifty years in as many seconds.

“....the delivery has performed as expected. Most excellent....”

More tears streamed down the mover's face; a hideous, almost rank breath hit the back of his neck.

“....as for your friend, your esteemed co-worker.....letting him back into society in his current condition would be most unwise, would it not? At most, he might have....weeks, perhaps a month, to live.....”

A whisper, as harsh as raw iron, yet smooth as silk, filled the mover's ear: “Kill him.”

Slowly, unable to even think of protesting yet wanting nothing more than to throw the pry-bar aside, the mover raised the tool above his head, looking down at the dessicated face of his co-worker. Some small part of him wanted, so desperately, to just stop, to grab the other man and bring him to hospital, and then to just leave this stupid city, the whole sodding country, even----

It took ten whole seconds for the mover to realize that the pry-bar had a fresh layer of blood and viscera on it.

Even worse, when he looked at the body of his colleague.....

“Ten seconds. Not a substantially fascinating time, by any means...but you fulfilled your part admirably, and for that, I will give you a most deserved reward.” Even as he picked up the lid of the crate, almost lazily dragging it over the top, Dracula smiled. “You might not have noticed, but there are, in fact, four security cameras at all corners of the awning of this particular hotel....and none of them will reveal my presence, should anyone view the footage of this...incident.....”

A low, choked wail escaped the surviving mover's throat.

“...the blame for this heinous crime will fall solely upon you, of course....but you have...one option.” Dracula moved around the still-sobbing mover, looking him over. “Hold the pry-bar out, in front of yourself....as if it were a sword in your hands.”

The mover did as he was told, tears streaming down his cheeks.

“.....turn the pry-bar towards yourself, with the prying edge facing your ribcage.”

A half-word, which might've been “please”, fought its way past the clenched lips of the mover....but he still did as he was told.

Dracula ignored the man for a moment, glancing instead at the nail that had gashed his hand. A cruel smirk played at his features; it had been too easy, he realized, to relegate these minor tasks to Lucia, Graaf, and any others in his employ, over the past few months. If there was any joy to be had in this endeavor, it was from the smallest moments such as this---when he, himself, could exercise his vast array of dark gifts, and turn every one of those gifts against any self-styled “hunter” of his kind. The Doctor and his allies would learn that for themselves, soon enough....

...but as for the task at hand.....

“Listen to me, very carefully.” Dracula leaned in close. “Raise the pry-bar before you, still facing your chest...”
-----------------------------------------------------
“....I won't be but a minute, Emma! I just have to make a few phone calls!” The Doctor sighed as he stepped out of the Porsche. “Just....think happy thoughts, like you were telling me to do in the car!”

“I WAS KIDDING, DOCTOR!”

“Well, I'm not! Just....think of something, while I'm...just give me a few minutes, okay?”

Emma 's groan was the only answer the Doctor received. “Eh, you'll thank me later, probably,” he muttered, heading into the smallish petrol station and asking to use the restroom. Once the door was closed and locked behind him, he retrieved the fob watch from his coat pocket with one hand, fishing the Sonic Screwdriver out of another pocket with the other. “And just for safety.....” A few minor adjustments were made to both the frequency and amplitude settings before the Time Lord thumbed the activator switch.

He felt tempted to yell something stupid, just to see if the rudimentary sound-dampening field he'd just set up around the door (and the door frame) worked, but decided against it. There wasn't enough time for it, anyway.

“Come on.....you always call me at completely random hours, but the one time I call you, you're not going to answer?!” Every impatient glance at the screen of the fob watch sent a new jolt of worry up the Doctor's spine; if he wasn't able to get through to the first name he'd thought of when Baron Lathos confirmed his identity as Dracula, this whole operation would need to be drastically re-thought...

You've reached the answering machine of River Song, please hold for a---”

“River, I know you don't have an answering machine, so knock it off! Just answer the phone already, so I don't have to call the next name on the list....” A low hiss escaped the Doctor's lips from between clenched teeth...

...answered, from the fob watch's surprisingly clear speaker, by an all-too-familiar laugh. “You never did have a sense of humor when you were this young, Doctor. To what do I owe the pleasure of hearing that wonderful voice of yours?

“Does the name Vlad Tepes ring any bells?”

“.....as in Dracula?

“One and the same.”

When and where?

“2025. Just left Ealing, heading to Whitby.”

How many dead?

“Maybe a dozen plus a few, so far....possibly more. He's taking down castles associated with him and trying to build his own...speaking of which---”

All five castles are still standing at the point in time I'm in right now, Doctor. Whatever he plans to do---”

“Fixed point in time, got it. I have a more important question....before January 2025, were there any articles in the local press about mysterious disappearances?”

“....you're dealing with Dracula. I'd have thought that---”

“This is sort of a side-thing, possibly connected to Dracula....or those working for him. Can you just check?”

“.....give me a few minutes, and you'll know all that I do, sweetie.

The Doctor nodded, even as he muttered “you know I hate being called that....” under his breath. His past dealings with the ever-mysterious River Song had been....interesting, to say the least, but asking for her help while Dracula was plaguing the UK was a bit of a stretch, even by his standards.

Right, I've found something that might be what you're looking for...but you're not going to like it.

“In cases like these, I never do. What is it?”

It seems like there was a clinic opening, sometime in the middle of 2023....Ilhousen's Walk-In Clinic, if the reports haven't been tampered with. Made a few local front-pages for how they took in transients and those who weren't able to pay....all well and good, at first, but....

Something about River's pause troubled the Doctor. “But what?”

A few months after the opening of the clinic, they tried to do a follow-up on a few notables....

“....and?”

And they couldn't get in touch with any of them. Quite a few of them had been local fixtures for months, if not years....but all of a sudden, they just disappeared.

“But a few of them turned up later,” the Doctor intoned, “acting....different.”

“....how in the hell did you know that?!

“Bellhop. Xanadu Hotel. Ealing. Long story, I'll explain later.”

“....you think Dracula is in league with whoever ran the clinic, and they were responsible for all of these local disappearances and kidnappings?

“If that's not the case, then I've got two very big problems to solve in ten days.”

“....well, aren't you the busy one this week, Doctor.

“Flattery later, speculation now. Is there any further news on this clinic?”

Other than some paperwork filed against them and a minor investigation connected to....oh, my God.

“What?”

“....remember how I said you weren't going to like what I had to tell you, Doctor?

“.....I do.”

“....well, that part is right now. Take a wild guess as to how many missing persons cases are connected to the Ilhousen Clinic.

“I don't take wild guesses, River. Just tell me.”

“....254. Two-hundred and fifty-four people went missing, and somehow there was enough evidence to link all of them, in some way, shape or form, to the Ilhousen Clinic.

The Doctor took a deep breath, his eyes closed. “....and how many of them turned up later, acting 'different'?”

“.....127. Give or take a few.

“.....so out of all of those people, only half came back.....” The Doctor shook his head. “Such a waste. Such a terrible, stupid waste....”

Doctor? I....if there's anything I can do---”

“You can keep checking the reports and make sure a few certain names aren't on the list. Sarah Jane Smith, for one.”

River's laugh at the request stunned the Time Lord. “What? What is it, what did I---”

You don't have to worry about Sarah Jane Smith, Doctor. Something tells me she can take care of herself.”

:.....fair enough. Emma B---”

Also survives 2025. You're getting paranoid in your young age, Doctor....”

“You just told me 127 people disappeared off the streets without any official explanation. Being paranoid is the safe option, for me....besides, don't you have a policy about revealing so much of this sort of thing? What's that word you're so fond of....”

A low, seductive chuckle issued from the fob watch's speaker. “Spoilers...”

“Yeah, that one.”

You'll appreciate it more when you're older. I keep saying, Doctor, you're like a fine wine---”

“I'd appreciate it if you didn't compare me to fermented grapes, thank you very much......” Despite his relative annoyance at River's none-too-subtle attempts at flirting, the Doctor couldn't help but grin. “Seriously, though, thank you. For the information, and for....well, everything....”

Don't mention it, Doctor. Literally.

“I know, I know....'spoilers'.....”

Again, River laughed. “I almost wish you'd call me more often, Doctor.....talking to you is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.

“What can I say, I have a wonderful effect on certain kinds of people....anyway, I've got to go. Emma and I are heading into Whitby right now....hopefully, Dracula isn't there already---speaking of which, you're handling the whole 'Dracula in England, 2025' thing rather well....”

I've been around the block plenty of times, sweetie. Dracula in England is nothing I haven't seen before.

“....I really wish you hadn't told me that...”

Oh, lighten up, will you? You'll do fine. Anyway, I've got things to do on my end---can't explain them over the line, of course---

“We've been over the 'spoilers' thing already, River....but thanks.”

Any time, sweetie.

With that, the call ended, and the Doctor sighed. “River Song, you continue to vex me....”

Shaking his head, even as a smile formed on his lips, the Time Lord reached for the door pull.
------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
Posts: 271
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:45 pm

“...and make sure that it is in position before they arrive.”

Dracula watched as the image of Lucia nodded in the mirror before him. “Of course, master.”

“Lucia, before you depart....I have one more request of you.”

Anything to further your cause.

A grim smile formed on the Count's ruddy lips. “A certain...loose end...must be tended to, before the Doctor and his friends arrive. See to it that this particular loose end is either....tied off.....or cut.

As you wish, master.

“Then go.” Dracula waved a pale hand before the surface of the jet-black mirror before him, and Lucia's image faded from it, replaced by the faintest reflection of himself. He lifted his hand, stretching it towards the mirror again....but something gave him pause. The “loose end”, in question, had only been investigated due to rumors about missing persons---transients, at that, cast off from the general population. How many had they taken in, up to this point?

Moreover, how many had they “returned” to the streets.....

….and how many still had “disappeared”, never to be seen again?”

“He will discover the link,” Dracula intoned. “Somehow, he will know.....”

He lowered his right hand, scowling. “A change of tack is in order, while there is still time....” He stared into the ebony mirror before him once again, raising his left hand---and glancing at the signet ring that he wore upon it, a “gift”, to be used in times of need.

This, more than likely, would be such a time of need.

No gesture was made, this time; he simply pointed the ring at the surface of the mirror, uttering phrases in a tongue no mortal man had heard for well over two centuries. Slowly, the mirror's gleaming face began to distort, to twist, revealing the faintest hint of a form.....

….and from that image, a voice spoke: “Unless the hour is late, and your need is dire, seek not my council---”

“The Doctor is on his way. Our....arrangement...led me to believe that your aid might be enough to stop him from foiling my plans.” Dracula paused---for a mere second. “I cannot destroy him alone.”

“....and for this, you summon me?

“I recall that it was, in fact, I who restored you from moldering in the grave---”

Then recall that I gave you the tomes and knowledge you sought, Vlad Tepes....and everything I give, I could just as easily take away---”

“You will call me Dracula, and nothing more.....lest I use your gifts against you.”

“....if you truly require my aid in destroying this....Doctor.....I wish to see for myself what danger he poses.

“Your wish will be granted....and you will learn what I have known: the Doctor could be the greatest threat our kind has ever faced, in this life or any other.”

A low, sinister hiss from the mirror was the only sound it made as its surface reformed to its usual luster.
------------------------------
“....and we're very nearly at Whitby, Emma, so you can stop asking me the same three questions about what we're going to do when we get there!” The Doctor sighed. “I haven't heard Danielle complain once through this whole ride---”

“She's driving the sodding car,” Emma countered. “She's hardly in any position to complain!”

From the front seat, Danielle chuckled. “You know I can hear you up here, right?”

“Then maybe you could tell Emma that your not complaining isn't so much a byproduct of complacency,” the Doctor began, “and more a---” He never did finish his remark; the Porsche lurched to a halt. “...rain check?” he offered.

“On your time, not mine,” Danielle deadpanned. “In the meantime....”

The Doctor and Emma followed her nod, towards a van with the faded logo of “Moving Masters Inc.” on the side. “....and the plot congeals,” the Time Lord muttered, shaking his head as he moved to exit the Porsche. “I honestly hope he's not involved with any of this....”

“He, who?” Emma murmured. “We're already dealing with Dracula...”

“....nothing. I just....I have a bad history with individuals or parties calling themselves 'Master'.”

“So you're not a fan of the golf tournament, then?”

Emma's question earned her a puzzled look from the Doctor, followed by a chuckle. “I've never had an issue with any golf tournaments, Emma. I can assure you....” Once she shrugged and turned away, the Time Lord fished the fob watch out of his coat pocket, holding it up to his mouth and whispering: “Note to self: look up Masters golf tournament later on for any connection to....” He rolled his eyes at the thought of his would-be nemesis trying to enact some horrific plan for vengeance at a golf tournament, of all places.

“Ah, Doctor,” Danielle called out, a slight tremor in her voice, “you...you might want to take a look at this...”

Even before the Time Lord got close enough to the window of the van, Emma's shriek was more than enough of an indicator that Danielle hadn't found a “passive” indication of Dracula's presence at the outerskirts of Whitby. His pace was slow as he approached....

….and when he leaned in to see just what waited for him inside of the van, he couldn't help but turn away.

It was hard to say which of the two inside the van might've had the worse death---the whithered, aged corpse that had a pulpy mass of bone, blood and other such viscera where its head should've been, or the second corpse, that of a man whose ribcage had apparenty exploded outwards....or even worse, been torn outwards.

“....you think it was Dracula?” Danielle quietly asked.

“Ripping out rib cages and bashing in skulls isn't exactly his style,” the Time Lord replied, his expression grim.

“Maybe he....mesmerized them,” Danielle offered. “Like he did with Reg.”

“It's a distinct possibility...and a disturbing one. He wouldn't have killed those two just because...this was left here as a warning.” The Doctor glanced back at the Porsche. “We should get going....and probably burn this van, before we leave.”

Emma was too busy retching to answer, but Danielle was aghast. “I'll need to file a report about this---”

“You didn't file one when Reg snapped his own neck....filing one now won't do any of us any favors.”

Something in the Doctor's tone was more than a little disconcerting. “You say that like you don't want people to know that Dracula is in town,” Danielle murmured. “Otherwise---”

“There's a big difference between telling them enough to survive,” the Doctor countered, “and telling them a little too much. If they know about a vampire being in Whitby, that's one thing. If they know the vampire running around their town is Dracula, that's something else....but if they get even a hint of the fact that Whitby is playing host to a vampire who can hypnotize people to kill each other, or themselves---especially in the same kind of ways these two did.....” He shook his head. “You'd have a mass panic on your hands.”

“We can't just not tell them---Doctor, I'm not letting you destroy that van!” Danielle moved touch the Doctor's shoulder, even if it was only a prelude to offering an alternative to burning the van, but he whirled on one heel, grabbing her by the wrist.

She couldn't help but gasp---something in the Time Lord's unwavering stare was just....unnerving.

A few seconds of silence (broken only by the sound of Emma throwing up a few feet away) before Danielle decided to speak: “....I...I'm sorry, Doctor, I just...do we really have to burn the van?”

The officer's question softened the Doctor's scowl into something slightly less ominous. “If we don't, then every local paper between here and Ipswich will have a two-page spread on it.” He let go of Danielle's wrist. “I don't even think Lauden would be willing to hear about this kind of barbarity so close to his own jurisdiction.”

“You mentioned that Smith woman,” Danielle reminded him. “What was her name?”

“Sarah Jane Smith..but I doubt even she'll be able to keep all the details of this from the headlines if we tell her about it. This is the kind of 'news' that can turn an entire city into a mob---and whether they panic or take up the torches and pitchforks...” The Doctor paused. “Actually, since this is 2025, what would an angry mob take up instead of torches and pitchforks, now that I think about it---”

“Doctor....”

Danielle's annoyance did little to throw the Time Lord off track. “Back to the main point: whether they panic and run screaming through the streets, or take up...arms, I guess, against Dracula....it won't matter. We have to focus on---”

The sound of Emma dry-heaving by the side of the road cut him off. “....rain check?”

“That'll be two you owe me,” Danielle sighed.

“Much obliged.” The Doctor gave a quick nod before striding over to Emma. “.....got it all out of your system?” he inquired. “We can go back to the Porsche, now, if you want....”

“....let's do that, yeah.” Emma nodded. “I...I just want to get as far away from this.....”

“Then go with Danielle back to the Porsche. I need to take care of something, first....Danielle!” He motioned for the officer, nodding as she approached. “You wouldn't happen to have a roadside assistance kit with you, by any chance?”

“....you're going to burn the van with the flares, aren't you?”

“Funny how you originally asked me if I was psychic...I could ask the same thing of you right now.”

“....I'll go get the kit, Doctor.” Danielle rolled her eyes and headed back to the Porsche.

“Thanks---oh, and radio HQ and tell them to ignore any calls about a burning van on....ah, what road is this?”
-----------------------------------------------------
Within the Whitby Police Station, Lauden was fighting off the makings of a migraine for what felt like the sixth time in less than a week---possibly less than a day.

30 minutes prior, the burned-out remnants of what might've been a van had been discovered on Cleveland Way, at the far end of Whitby. Had this been the only report of vehicular arson that day, he would've written it off....except for a private call from Sergeant Danielle Tomlinson mentioning a van containing the victims of a particularly gruesome double homicide on a completely different road.

In the background, barely audible over the sirens of Danielle's Porsche, someone had lit a flare.....

“You're going to give yourself an even worse headache, if you keep 'concentrating' like that,” Father Wyngarde mused, chuckling as he took a seat opposite Lauden. “At the very least, you could tell me—-”

“The burning van on Cleveland Road,” Lauden muttered. “I...I think it's been moved from where it was found.”

Wyngarde nodded. “And who informed you about the van in the first place?”

“Tomlinson. Called me ten, fifteen minutes ago....I thought I heard someone light a flare right before she hung up the phone.” Lauden shook his head. “Except she was on the opposite end of the town, with.....” He let the sentence trail off. “.....the Doctor,” he groaned, leaning back in his chair. “He moved the van....”

“And 'he' had very good reason to.”

Had the Doctor's voice come from across the room, it wouldn't have surprised Lauden in the least. Since it was right next to his left ear, however, his reaction of nearly jumping out of the chair to smash into the table in front of him was perfectly understandable. “HOW DID---I----YOU WERE---”

“I just got here, Chief Inspector,” the Time Lord replied. “Figured I'd---oh, hi, Father.”

“Doctor.” Wyngarde nodded.

“...anyway....Emma, Danielle and I just got here, and I did, in fact, walk in just in time to catch your little spiel about the van---”

Did you move it,” Lauden muttered, his eyelids squeezed shut, “or not?

“.....has anyone called to report two missing moving men over the past few hours?”

Lauden opened his eyes. “Two missing....what?!

Without pause, the Doctor knelt next to Lauden, staring into his eyes. “Moving Masters Inc. sent one of their vans into Whitby a day or two ago. Simple job, move a box from Point A to Point B....but the two movers who drove that van out haven't come back...” His tone turned grim. “...and they're not going to come back, ever, because all that's left of them was in that van.” He held up a hand to stop Lauden from interrupting him. “If you'd seen what I did,” he continued, “you'd understand exactly why that van couldn't be recovered with those two....or what was left of them....intact.”

“....and what did you see, exactly?” Wyngarde inquired.

“For starters, both of the movers were dead---you don't want to know the details. And I'm pretty sure that one of them was 'told' to kill the other one....and I shouldn't have to explain who 'told' him.”

Wyngarde shook his head. “The corrupting influence of the Count reaches ever further....”

“I'm afraid so---but that's not the worst of it. I'm pretty sure---”

STOP,” Lauden thundered. “Just......just stop, please.....” There was no anger---towards the Doctor, towards Wyngarde or towards anyone in particular---in his voice; every syllable rang heavy with grief, a palpable sense of sadness. “This.....this is....” He shook his head. “...I used to brag, before all this started, about the biggest case of my career,” he muttered, “how I stopped a chav fight from breaking out one year during the week of the World Cup.....thought it was the high point of the Ealing Metro's history....”

“I hate to break it to you, Chief Inspector,” the Doctor quietly replied, “but drunk chavs couldn't hold a candle to what we're dealing with now. That van had to be destroyed....otherwise, Whitby would be in a panic.”

“Needs of the many, needs of the few,” Wyngarde intoned. “Not an easy choice for anyone.”

Lauden took no solace in the priest's words. “Under any other circumstances,” he breathed, “I'd be well within my rights to have you arrested for destroying evidence, Doctor---”

“So you'd rather follow the letter of the law?” the Doctor hissed. “If the people of Whitby knew what they were up against---a full-on vampire, one who could hypnotize them into doing whatever he damn well wants them to, up to and including killing each other and themselves.....” He let the ramifications of that sink in for a moment. “....if they knew all of that....would it really be worth it to have me behind bars, while the people of Whitby are panicking in the streets?”

“.....no.”

“Then you know why I did what I did. We have to keep this out of the limelight as much as possible---”

A door on the far side of the room opened, cutting off the Doctor's spiel. “We'll finish this later,” he whispered, rising from where he'd knelt by Lauden's chair.

Emma---looking a bit shaken, but otherwise fine---and Danielle entered the room, accompanied by two others: a young woman Lauden didn't recognize, but who evidently knew the Doctor from somewhere, and a man who dwarfed them both in age. Tall, a bit rounder than Lauden but otherwise unbowed by time, and with short, white curls crowning his head, he looked every bit the “classic” British police superintendent.

“Chief Inspector Lauden,” Danielle declared, “allow me to formally introduce---”

“Can we dispense with the formalities for once?” the man interjected, his sonorous voice as deep as it must've been in his prime. “They can be so very tiring....” He nodded at Lauden. “I see you've found the place, then.”

Lauden managed a chuckle. “As always....Superintendent, this is Doctor von---”

“Richten. Doctor von Richten.” The Doctor stepped forwards, extending a hand. “I filed a different name on the reports in Ealing because, well, I'm not ashamed to admit that my line of work has led to acquiring a few 'enemies' over the years, and any one of them would be raring to catch me off-guard.”

“Perfectly understandable.” The older man shook the Time Lord's hand. “Superintendent Blackery---Jared, when I'm at home.” He nodded. “I understand you're helping Lauden investigate those bizarre murders?”

“I have...and I see you've met my assistants, Emma and Miss Smith....” The Doctor fought the urge to grin as Emma rolled her eyes; Sarah Jane Smith merely arched an eyebrow. “I admit, I hadn't expected Miss Smith to reach Ealing at the same time as I did.....”

“Well, you know me, Doctor,” Sarah Jane replied. “I love to exceed expectations.”

Superintendent Blackery nodded. “And you've brought everything pertaining to the case with you?”

“As much as we could without inconveniencing the Ealing office,” the Doctor replied.

“Perfectly understandable....ah, none of you heard anything related to a pair of moving men, by any chance? I seem to recall someone around the office mentioning it earlier today....”

Lauden and Wyngarde exchanged furtive looks, but the Doctor just shook his head. “Can't say I have.”

“....well, something will turn up sooner or later.” Blackery sighed. “I'll leave you all to it, then.” With a nod, he left the group to their own devices.

Just seconds after the door to Blackery's office closed, Sarah Jane groaned. “So I'm your 'assistant' now?”

“It's better than 'she's a random journalist, please give her total unsupervised access to all files regarding this case',” the Doctor replied. “I didn't hear Emma complaining....”

“You already used that line about me once before,” Emma drawled. “I didn't really care---”

“ANYway....” The Doctor sighed. “Right. Now that we're in Whitby, we have a lot of ground to cover and, if I'm not mistaken, not a lot of time in which we can cover it. Sarah Jane, I'm assuming Emma and Danielle gave you the brief on your way in?”

“....they did. So....we're really---”

“You don't have to whisper,” the Doctor assured her. “They're not going to overhear.” He grinned, holding up the Sonic Screwdriver. “Anyway, you were saying?”

“....we're really taking on Dracula?”

“We are. And he's already in Whitby.” The Doctor motioned for everyone to sit down. “He's also not the only problem we're dealing with....did Danielle mention the bellhop at the Xanadu---”

“What does a bellhop have to do with anything?!” Lauden snapped. “Doctor---”

Just as it had done with Danielle, the Doctor's stare silenced Lauden's complaints almost instantly, to the point where the Chief Inspector actually sat back down rather than try to get in the Time Lord's face.

With Lauden back in his seat, the Doctor nodded. “....there've been a number of disappearances, all of them in and around Ealing, connected to a facility known as the Ilhousen Clinic. I don't know for sure if it's connected to Dracula, but from what I do know is that only half of those admitted to the clinic for treatment have been seen again since they went in---and none of them were the same as they were before they went in.”

From her seat next to Emma, Sarah Jane noticed a glimmer of something like worry on Danielle's face as the Doctor spoke. She would've turned to get a better look, but the Doctor's voice caught her attention again.

“From what Danielle told me back at the Xanadu, the bellhop had gone missing a few days before 'Baron Giles Lathos' got there, and inexplicably turned up again---but he wasn't acting the same as he'd used to. Just like the ones who'd come back from the Ilhousen Clinic. Whatever is going on here---whatever grand plan Dracula has for Ealing, Whitby, and the UK as a whole....it's a lot bigger than any of us know. It's not just about building the castle, it's not just about creating more vampires...and if it's connected to these disappearances from the Ilhousen Clinic, we may not have long to act.”

Sarah Jane glanced over at Danielle to gague her response---only to notice the sergeant had left the room.

“As for the here and now,” the Doctor continued, “we need to just hunker down, prepare ourselves and keep an ear to the ground in case Dracula makes another move. Any questions?”

“...other than the obvious,” Sarah Jane replied, “I've got one: Where'd Sergeant Tomlinson go?”
------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:53 pm

“.....we're going to get killed for this. Just because you wanted to take one more 'daylight jaunt'....”

Lucia's remark earned the barest hint of a smirk from Graaf. “The cream is still working, isn't it? No blinding headaches, no blurred vision, no pounding in the ears...”

“I'd rather be laid up with a headache than risk getting caught by the master!” Lucia hissed. “We can't---”

“I never said we were attacking anyone,” Graaf cut in. “Besides, he wanted us to scope out the place....and here we are.” He nodded towards the entrance of the Whitby Museum, grinning. “And would you look at that, it's open to the public,” he chuckled. “Sounds like an invitation to me.....”

Despite her annoyance, Lucia couldn't help but smile. “You and your loopholes....”

“It's not just about me,” Graaf began, only to stop; a rather plain, yet thoroughly unpleasant-looking girl with what appeared to be a pair of handcuffs dangling off of her left wrist was stomping around in front of the museum, banging on a hand-gong and screaming “LEE HOY FUNG RO CHOCK!” over and over again.

“.....what the hell....” Lucia lowered her sunglasses, staring at the screaming girl. “What is she doing?

Graaf scoffed. “She's just some random idiot, Lucia. We have bigger fish to fry.”

“....no,” Lucia murmured. “She's....she's not random. I saw her in Ealing, a few times....she was wandering the streets, yelling about....some kind of pants.” She frowned. “Why is she here, now?”

It doesn't matter,” Graaf hissed. “The museum is open...that's good enough for us.”

Lucia frowned. “It'd be even better for us if our source was still giving us hourly updates on the Doctor. I hate having to wander around like this just to find out where one person is at any given time!”

“Better to wander aimlessly than sleep the day away,” Graaf muttered. “I hate having to 'rest' for every hour the sun still shines....” He glanced around, watching as people passed by without giving him so much as a second glance. “Just spending the whole day in a box....it's not living. It's hell.”

“At least spending the day in a box keeps us away from idiots like her,” Lucia replied, nodding towards the screaming girl with the hand gong. “Didn't we spot her in Ealing? She was chained to a lamp post, or a bench or something.....” She squinted from behind her sunglasses. “Same face, same hair, same figure....definitely the same voice....it is her!”

“So?!” Graaf was still staring at the museum entrance, the guards barely moving from their posts. “We could get in their right now....soften the way for him, as it were....”

“That girl was in Ealing,” Lucia intoned. “She was following the Doctor---”

“I don't care,” Graaf snarled, finally turning to glare at Lucia. “We're here on the master's orders, not to watch some stupid girl banging a.....hand gong....” All too quickly, he realized just what that entailed. “She couldn't know about.....”

“We have to get out of here,” Lucia quietly replied. “If she does know, and if anyone gets suspicious....”

With one last look at the museum, and then at the still-screaming girl, the two vampires departed from the scene, blending in quite easily with the crowd of tourists and locals as they made their way through the ever-shifting crowd. Anyone trying to draw a bead on the pair would've lost them in seconds as the crowd eddied and swirled around them.....

...anyone apart from the one figure neither of the vampires had noticed, standing by the museum's entrance...
------------------------------
“....you're sure? Right, right....thanks. I'll tell them.” Lauden hung up the phone, sighing. “I thought I should mention it now, just to make everything clear,” he stated, “but Danielle....she had to leave due to a pre-existing condition. She's getting treatments on a regular basis, once or twice a week....she doesn't like to make a fuss about it, but in this case....”

The Doctor nodded. “Fair enough. As long as we know where she is....”

“Can we get back to the problem of Dracula being in Whitby, now?” Emma drawled, sprawling out on a bench with a “De-Escalation and Conflict Resolution” manual draped over her eyes. “What do we do next?”

“....ah, right. Dracula, Whitby, yes....” Lauden nodded. “The Whitby Museum, by no small coincidence, has just received a donation from the Romanian government---all artifacts pertaining to the rule of Vlad Tepes III, of course. Included among them is something that 'Baron Lathos' had a great interest in viewing: the self-portrait of Vlad III, recovered from---”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Emma cut in, ignoring the “De-Escalation” manual falling off of her face as she sat up. “You mean to tell us Dracula wanted to go to the museum to look at a picture of himself?

“I'm pretty sure it's a bit more complex than that,” the Doctor chided. “At least, I hope it is...”

Sarah Jane rolled her eyes at the remark. “If anyone's interested, there's a private viewing of the portrait of Vlad III going on tonight, around..ah.” She arched an eyebrow. “Anyone wants to talk about coincidences, they're welcome to speculate about this one---the viewing's at two minutes to midnight!”

Father Wyngarde chuckled. “Someone's an Iron Maiden fan....”

“Private viewing?” Lauden echoed, crossing the room to get a look at the brochure. “Oh, of course, for 'patrons and donors only'.....which leaves us right out in the cold---”

“Not quite.” The Doctor grinned. “The honorable Dr. von Richten could very easily say that there was a slight mistake regarding his invitation, and show up unannounced....and Emma, before you say anything, I figured Doctor von Wer was a bit too obvious an alias. That, and Dr. von Richten has a ring to it.”

A quiet, coughing mutter, which sounded suspiciously like “Ravenloft”, was the only reply Emma gave.

“Seeing as how we know Dracula's going to be at the unveiling,” the Doctor continued, “it's reasonable for us to assume that the portrait of Vlad III plays some part in his plans, whatever they may be. Sarah Jane can be my '+ 1' for this trip,” he added, “since Dracula's already seen Emma once before...”

“And why does it matter if he's seen me before?” Emma countered.

“Because he knows you're not just 'my assistant', and that you're actively working to help me put an end to his plans. By contrast, he's never seen Sarah Jane before, so he won't know she's working with anyone trying to stop him.” The Time Lord glanced over at Sarah Jane; “Of course,” he added, “that relies entirely upon her not having a problem with this plan....”

“Funny how you're just mentioning this now,” Sarah Jane replied. “Still, if it helps to keep Whitby from being taken over by vampires, I'll do it.”

“Good---because we're going to that private viewing tonight, to make sure Dracula and his flunkies don't try anything weird...” The Doctor paused for a moment. “Weren't we supposed to be meeting someone here, though?” he inquired. “Will Price, or Whilhemina Price, or whatever she calls herself....” He turned to glance at Father Wyngarde. “Didn't you mention her back in Ealing?”

“Now that you mention it.....” A worried look crossed his face. “You don't think she's been....”
------------------------------
“....if there's anyone inside the residence at this time, please open the door!”

Lauden's entreaties to the occupant of Room 24 at the Riviera Guest House went unheeded, as did each and every knock on the door. The Doctor, for his part, merely pulled his coat tighter around himself, glancing around somewhat impatiently---as did Sarah Jane.

“...so, is it true, then?” she whispered.

“That Baron Lathos is Dracula?” the Doctor replied.

“No, about....you, I mean.”

The Time Lord arched an eyebrow. “What about me?”

“The UNIT files on you....they say some pretty interesting things.” Sarah Jane glanced over her shoulder, as if fearing she'd be overheard. “I mean....they actually say you're an alien....” She started to laugh, but stopped herself short---the Doctor was staring at her, his expression inscrutable. “.....I....so....was it true, then?” she whispered. “You're really....y'know....”

“When I say I'm 'not from around here',” the Doctor quietly replied, “I mean that my home is located in the constellation of Kasterberous, galactic coordinates 10-0-11-00:02 from Galactic Zero Center....”

Before Sarah Jane could reply, he winked. “Not to worry, though...I come in peace.”

“Most films with aliens in them have them get shot right after they say that,” Sarah Jane muttered, stifling a giggle. “But you're really....an alien, then? With a police box that's---”

“Bigger on the inside, travels through time and space....I tell them a little bit about myself, and they put it all 'on file for future reference',” the Doctor sighed. “Yes, Sarah Jane Smith, I'm an alien. Specifically, a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey---I already gave you the coordinates.” He glanced back at Lauden, still requesting the occupant of Room 24 to emerge. “This, ah, file you somehow managed to read....”

This time, Sarah Jane didn't bother not giggling. “All I had to do was mention the Sonic Screwdriver when I called them---”

“You called UNIT to ask them about me?!

“I had to make sure you were legitimate! For the record, they're quite the fans of yours...strictly off the record, of course. Officially, they said you're a valued member of their scientific research team---”

“Miss Price,” Lauden declared, the volume of his voice slightly startling Sarah Jane, “if you don't open the door in the next five seconds, I'm going to have to---” A hand on his shoulder cut him off. “There's someone in there,” the Doctor intoned. “And it's not Mina Price.” He preemptively silenced Lauden, gesturing for him to put his ear to the viewport on the door. “Listen.....”

Ignoring his annoyance at the Time Lord, Lauden followed his advice, listening for any sounds in the room...

….and nearly jumped a full foot back when he heard a low, sinister hiss---and an equally-low female moan.

“She is in there!” he gasped, bracing himeslf to knock down the door with a shoulder charge. “Doctor, we---”

“You have no idea what's in there with her,” the Doctor cautioned. “If we take the Rambo route and just charge in, guns blazing, it could kill her!”

“If we wait,” Lauden countered, “it might kill her anyway----Miss Smith, what are you doing?!

Sarah Jane, evidently tired of waiting for Lauden and the Doctor to decide upon a course of action themselves, had removed a hairpin from her pocket and begun working on the antiquated window locks of the room. “If neither of you feel like helping her,” she replied, “I will!

“Do you always go this far to get a story?” the Doctor asked.

“Only if I know it'll save someone's life....which, in all honesty, I haven't had to worry about before---”

The hiss from inside Room 24 grew louder. “Doctor,” Lauden warned, “if we don't get in there---”

A click from the window cut him off. “It's open! Come on!” Sarah Jane motioned for both men to follow her as she climbed in through the now-opened window.

“....after you, Chief Inspector.” The Doctor grinned.

Lauden bit back several scathing remarks as he followed Sarah Jane's lead.

By the time the Doctor had gone in through the window (an insanely clever pun about the circumstances came to his mind once he'd entered, but he decided not to mention it until after the situation had sorted itself out), it was obvious that something had found out about Mina Price's visit to Whitby, and was determined to stop her from doing whatever she intended to do.

And as to the nature of that something......

“Good Lord,” Lauden muttered, flattening himself against the wall almost immediately. Sarah Jane stayed at a low crouch, trying not to draw the attention of the....thing...on the far side of the room, barely crouched behind the bed. The Doctor wasn't nearly as skittish as either of them, however, and moved towards the creature, quietly retrieving the Sonic Screwdriver from one coat pocket and adjusting the amplitude until a fairly decent light projected from its tip, illuminating Mina Price's “visitor” for all to see. As soon as the light hit the fifth occupant of the room, Lauden swore under his breath, and Sarah Jane could only gasp---prompting the Doctor to give her a warning glance.

The being standing over Wilhemina Price had, at one point, been human---centuries ago. Its pale flesh was nearly transluscent, looking more like yellowed rice paper than skin; its eyes were pupil-less, solid orbs of milky white. A thin, almost serpentine tongue darted out from between its cracked lips as it turned, arms stiffly held before it. Shabby robes hung off of its frame, the once-vibrant patterns and colors now dull and lifeless.

“A jiang-shi,” the Doctor whispered, his eyes wide. “The movers were probably transporting it.....”

As he watched, transfixed, the jiang-shi turned, slowly, and began to move around the bed---in a bizarre sort of hopping motion. Something between a scream and a laugh nearly left Sarah Jane's lips as she watched, but the Doctor's glare silenced her again. “Rigor mortis,” he intoned, not smiling. “It's been dead so long, it can't even walk....same reason the arms are outstretched in front of it---”

“DOCTOR!”

Lauden's warning yell wasn't neccesary---the Time Lord knew the jiang-shi was far faster than it looked, and had made its way around the bed in the time it took him to explain the hopping to Sarah Jane. Just as quickly as his pursuer had moved around the bed, the Doctor dove over it, nearly falling on top of the unconscious form of Mina Price on the floor. “She's still alive,” he called out, “but barely....the jiang-shi nearly drained her!”

“Drained her of what?” Sarah Jane whispered, scrambling to back against a wall and stay out of the jiang-shi's reach. “And why is that thing even here?!”

“The Doctor's the expert,” Lauden admitted. “This isn't exactly something I deal with every day---”

A snap sounded on the other side of the room, giving Sarah Jane and Lauden time to see what had caused it as the jiang-shi slowly turned---the Doctor had found, retrieved and lit a roadside flare. “Both of you might want to leave the room in a few seconds,” he declared. “Lauden, try to get Mina out of here---” He thrust the flare in front of him, aiming it towards the hissing jiang-shi.

Without hesitation, Lauden scrambled over the bed, picking up Mina in a fireman's carry and doing his best to maneuver past the Doctor and the jiang-shi without attracting the latter's attention. “She's barely breathing, Doctor, we have to get her---”

The Doctor never looked away from his target. “Go.”

“Doctor, if you're about to do what I think you're about to do---”

GO!

Something in the Time Lord's tone was far more frightening than the prospect of dealing with a jiang-shi, and Lauden made his way to the door---only to find it locked. “We have a problem, Doctor---”

Sarah Jane's foot took the door clean off the hinges, allowing sunlight to stream in. “COME ON!”

“Don't have to tell me twice....” Lauden made his way through the door, careful not to bash Mina's head or feet against the frame as he did; not knowing exactly how to handle the situation beyond the obvious (get Mina as far away from the jiang-shi as possible), the two headed for the manager's office and hoped the Doctor would sort the rest out on his own.

“I just hope he's not about to set the whole room on fire just to kill that thing,” Lauden muttered, “otherwise---”

An unholy wail split the air behind him; the jiang-shi had hopped (or jumped, more realistically) through another window, its Qing Dynasty robes blackened, but still intact. The few flames emanating from it were beginning to die out. From inside the room, the Doctor could faintly be heard uttering “Of all the useless...”

Both Lauden and Sarah Jane needed no further persuasion to flee as fast as their legs could carry them.

Ten minutes later, the pair found themselves on a couch in the manager's office---the manager had gallantly volunteered to drive Mina to hospital, leaving Lauden and Sarah Jane to fend for themselves. “Think he'll be able to kill it?” Sarah Jane quietly asked. “That jiang-shi....thing....can it be killed?”

“I've no idea,” Lauden muttered. “First vampires, then Dracula, now....this....”

“The Doctor said that jiang-shi thing had drained Mina,” Sarah Jane mused. “Maybe it's....a kind of vampire?”

“Whatever it is or isn't,” Lauden replied, “I just want it out of Whitby. All of this....it's just...it's insane! I run a branch of the Metropolitan Police Department, not the sodding Ghostbusters!”

Anything Sarah Jane could've said in reply was cut off by the office door opening, slowly.....

…..revealing the Doctor, thoroughly cross but otherwise okay.

“You killed it, then?” Lauden inquired, rising from his spot on the couch. “The jiang-shi, did you---”

The Time Lord held up one hand, cutting off any further questions. Without looking at Lauden or Sarah Jane, he took a deep breath, placed his glasses into a coat pocket, stepped into the manager's office, and promptly fell face-forward onto the floor.

After five seconds, he finally spoke: “Ow.”

Sarah Jane and Lauden scrambled to help him to his feet. “What happened?!” Lauden breathed. “That thing, that jiang-shi....did you kill it?”

“Tried to,” the Doctor muttered, briefly touching his nose to make sure he hadn't broken it in the fall. “Setting it on fire only made it.....I think 'angry' is too weak a word, to describe what it must've felt, but anyway. And no, I didn't set the room on fire.” Finally back on his feet, he brushed himself off and retrieved his glasses. “Ah, where's Mina?”

“The manager took her to hospital.” Sarah Jane glanced at a nearby wall clock. “He left about five minutes ago....why? You don't think---”

“He wasn't acting weird, moving in any strange ways?”

“Doctor,” Lauden intoned, “the manager was as human as I am. Miss Price has been taken to hospital, and you still haven't told us what happened to that jiang-shi creature---”

The Doctor gave a light cough. “Someone drove off with it. A van, not unlike the one left burning on the side of Cleveland Road.....pretty sure the company that owns the van was the one responsible for delivering the jiang-shi to Whitby in the first place.”

“And they just.....drove off with it?” Lauden prompted. “Threw it in the back and left?”

“More or less. You're going to put a trace on them, aren't you?' The Doctor polished the lenses of his glasses, not even looking at Lauden as he spoke. “Put your best people on it, APB and all that.”

“....I'm not sure I like your tone, Doctor.”

“Well, Chief Inspector, I'm not sure I care....some things are a bit more important than being nice, and stopping Dracula from kicking off his plans throughout the UK is a lot higher-up on my priorities list....” Even as he spoke, the Time Lord held up his glasses, peered through the lenses to make sure they were clean, and gave them one last going-over with a silk cloth. “Also, I nearly flambéed myself while trying to kill that jiang-shi, so forgive me if I'm focused on something other than proper etiquette---

“You just said you didn't set the room on fire!” Lauden snapped. “How did you---”

“Ever try to use a road flare to kill a hopping corpse? It's a lot harder than it looks.” The Doctor put his glasses back on, nodding. “Anyway....tell your people to wait 15 minutes before they get here to take a look at Mina's room. I need to get a few things of hers out of there.”

Lauden chewed his lip, obviously trying to refrain from screaming at the Time Lord. “....what kinds of things---”

THINK,” the Doctor thundered, smacking the Chief Inspector in the forehead with his left hand. “We're after Dracula. The murders in Ealing were committed by vampires. DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU?!”

“All right, that's enough,” Sarah Jane cut in. “Both of you are acting like children! For God's sake.....”

The Doctor and Lauden glared at each other for a few more seconds, before the silence was finally broken by a chuckle from the Time Lord. “...I keep forgetting why I love this place so much,” he murmured. “This planet, you people.....any time I'm feeling at my worst, you find a way to bring out the best in me.” He sighed. “And for the record, Lauden....”

“Don't mention it,” the Chief Inspector grunted. “Literally.” After a few seconds, he managed a grin and shook hands with the Doctor. “Now, then....do we check up on Miss Price, or go back to HQ?”

“What is this, Choose Your Own Adventure?” The Doctor chuckled again. “Your car, your call.”
-----------------------------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:00 pm

Count Dracula hated waiting.

Whether it was returning from the sleep of undeath, anticipating news delivered by his subordinates, or even the delicious thrill of watching an intended victim in the moments before he struck...there was just something about the act of waiting that he despised....yet here he was, standing in a filthy crypt below Whitby Abbey, with an hour or so to go until his “appointment” at the museum.

Standing in filth, and waiting.....

“So. You have come to seek my council again, Dracula.”

The voice that spoke those words bore a more pronounced accent than the Count's own, more German than Romanian---and far less “polished” than that of the Count. “Indeed, I have,” he replied. “The jiang-shi was--”

“Trying to send a jiang-shi against this...Doctor....a fool's errand!” A figure shuffled forth out of the darkness, pale even in the almost non-existant light of the crypt. “If you truly wish to rid yourself of this Doctor, you will leave his fate to me.”

Dracula couldn't help but stare at the newcomer---though the term barely applied, in practice, to the vampire he knew only as “the Elder”. Whereas Dracula himself still bore the look of a handsome human male, the Elder had more in common with the angular, vicious features of a rat or a bat---a pointed chin, protruding ears, a nose that was barely more than a stub with two slits....and, of course, the needle-like teeth. His coarse, black trench coat, buttoned up to the collar, was yet another contrast to Dracula's own finely-tailored suit and cape; his voice was harsh, barely above a whisper. He looked deceptively frail, almost comically so.....

…but Dracula had brought him back from the dreamless slumber of the grave, bathing his remains in fresh blood, for one reason: to ensure his own success. The Elder was nowhere near as weak as he appeared, and his counsel could mean the difference between a glorious victory and a crushing defeat.

“The Doctor's fate is a matter of our mutual concern,” he admitted, “but rest assured, Elder, that I---”

“I will rest only when I have done what I am here to do,” the Elder rasped. “And that is---”

“The Doctor is not so easily dissuaded or destroyed,” Dracula interjected. “....there is an aspect to him that sets him far apart from others who have hunted our kind....he is a child of Gallifrey.”

The Elder stared, his eyes narrowing to slits. “....what?”

“A child of Gallifrey. A Time Lord!”

At those two words---Time Lord---the Elder's eyes widened, and he let out a sharp hiss.

“I heard the beating of both hearts as soon as I first laid eyes upon him,” Dracula continued. “The Time Lords have not walked this Earth since the dawning days of mankind....and now one has been sent against me....this cannot be a coincidence....”

After a few seconds of silence, the Elder nodded. “....the acolytes....do they know of his nature?”

“I have not told them yet, Elder. But I assure you---”

“Tell them when you leave this place....and then recruit more of their kind. Turn them fully, as well...we must not allow this Doctor and his allies to gain any semblance of an advantage over us.” The Elder steepled his fingers, scowling. “....you have withheld something from me.”

The Count couldn't help but smile. “I see I can keep no secrets from you, Elder.”

He glanced over his shoulder, gesturing for an unseen figure to step forth....and as the Elder watched, a pale girl, no more than 18 years old at most, strode out of the darkness to stand beside Dracula. “Her...friends...had the audacity to break into one of my sanctuaries,” the Count explained. “She had suffered a minor injury before being turned....but as you see, she is no longer encumbered by it.”

The Elder looked the girl over. “Who was she, in life?”

“A runaway. One of several, who had sought to use my sanctuary for their own ends.....” Dracula smirked. “If it had not been for her friends' intoxication, she might have escaped....”

“And has she encountered this...Doctor...yet?”

“She has not.” Dracula gestured for the girl to come forward. “So far, no reports of missing persons have been filed for anyone matching her description....she could easily blend in amongst the common people, at night.”

Despite the Count's apparent confidence, the Elder scowled. “Conducting our business at night may no longer be an option,” he rasped. “The viewing of the image tonight.....if you fail to acquire it, we may need to proceed without it, for the benefit of our own safety---”

“We cannot proceed without it!” Dracula countered. “I will acquire it tonight, after the viewing!”

“....so sure of yourself,” the Elder muttered. “As always....is this truly Dracula, the King of the Vampires, I am speaking to, or has the fiery, arrogant Vlad Tepes III come back from the mists of time?” His pale lips parted as a throaty chuckle filled the air.

If the remark angered him at all, Dracula hid it well. “Time has tempered my passions enough to avoid the follies of my youth. The portrait is, truly, necessary...without it, our plans will fail. I have already suffered one setback, in Ealing....” He hesitated, for the slightest moment; in his messages to the Elder, he'd never actually admitted that the Doctor had escaped him at the Xanadu thanks to an altercation with other guests.

Again, the Elder scowled. “...and?”

“.....I do not wish to endure another, so soon after it,” Dracula stated. “I would prefer a clean victory---”

“A 'clean' victory is one that takes time, Dracula,” the Elder rasped. “We must act, if your plan is to have any hope of success! You have already taken far too long in hiring your....'help'.....”

Dracula smirked. “The 'help' have proven most invaluable so far, Elder. They have done far more than---”

“ENOUGH.” The Elder's glare turned to the girl at Dracula's side. “Send her after this...Doctor....”

“She has not yet tasted fresh blood,” Dracula protested. “Her injury was only healed by---”

“Do not question my demands, Count,” the Elder snarled. “You may have raised me from the darkness of the grave, but rest assured, any power you hold over me will disappear if you continue to defy me!”

Silence filled the crypt soon after the Elder's remark. Dracula never moved from where he stood, staring at his ally with imperious disdain. Had he the option of simply moving ahead in his efforts without the Elder, he gladly would've done so---and he knew, despite their alliance, that the Elder would do the same if he could. So little about the Elder was known---even his name had been lost to history---and Dracula had little faith in trusting such a volatile “friend”.

Three full minutes passed before either vampire spoke.

“You will retrieve the portrait, then,” the Elder intoned. “Once you have it, we can proceed---”

Something further back in the crypt---the same direction Dracula and the girl had entered from---fell over with a clang, followed by a round of half-slurred profanity and a mention of (Dracula wasn't sure if his ears were failing him or not when he heard it) “pootylicious”.

“Another secret?” the Elder muttered, frowning.

“Hardly. That voice.....I've heard it before, in Ealing---”

Dracula was interrupted by the sound of something else being knocked over, shattering on the stone floor, and another burst of swearing. Shortly after that, a grunt---and that bizarre word again, this time, in an equally bizarre question: “WHERE'S POOTYLICIOUS?! WHY AIN'T THIS PLACE POOTYLICIOUS?!”

The girl at Dracula's side bade him lean close, and whispered something in his ear; as the Elder watched, he nodded, looking somewhat annoyed as he did, before straightening. “Apparently, our 'guest' is looking for a clothing store,” he stated. “Why she chose to search below Whitby Abbey, I know not....but I can assure you, she is of no concern to us.” The smirk returned to his lips. “She's just a transient, a girl who annoys everyone unfortunate enough to cross her path.”

“And you are sure she is of no consequence?”

“....she is a fool, Elder. Nothing more, nothing less.” Dracula glanced over his shoulder, the screaming girl was getting closer, still ranting about wanting to find “Pootylicious” for whatever reason. “Still, I suggest we take the minimum of precautionary measures to keep from being discovered,” he added.

The Elder nodded, stepping back into the shadows. Dracula and the recently-turned girl did likewise, moving to either side of the room until the darkness seemed to envelop them.

A few minutes later, the screaming girl entered the main chamber of the crypt, nearly tripping with every step (and actually falling on her face at least once or twice). The three vampires, hidden in shadow, were virtually invisible to her as she continued ranting about “Pootylicious”, swearing at nobody in particular and complaining that her feet hurt. With silence as her only response, she cursed again and turned to leave, falling on her face on the way out and shouting a rather obscene request that someone tell her where “Pootylicious” was.

Yet another item further back in the crypt was knocked over to break against the floor as the girl left, swearing all the while. Her long-awaited exit was punctuated, at last, by a slamming door.

A full minute afterwards, Dracula, the Elder and the recently-turned vampire girl emerged from the shadows.

“....she is an annoyance,” the Elder muttered. “Desecrating a crypt she has so little knowledge of, screaming at every step....it would be better for us if we---”

“Killed her?” Dracula prompted. “Turned her? Stole her soul and enslaved her to our will?” He shook his head at each of his own suggestions, pacing before the Elder. “If she were killed, any trace of her remains would prompt an investigation. Turning her is, of course, out of the question---she would abuse the dark gifts for her own stupid purposes......”

“And what of binding her to our will?” the Elder cut in.

Dracula turned away. “It would be better to leave her to her own devices for now. She is nothing but a minor agitation, one we can easily ignore.” Without another word, he turned on his heel and headed for the door, gesturing for the vampire girl at his side to follow him.

“The portrait!” the Elder intoned. “You will retrieve it tonight, Dracula...”

“You needn't worry about me,” the Count replied, not looking back. “It is practically mine already.”
-----------------------------------------------------
“....so there's actually a clothing store called 'Pootylicious'?”

The Doctor's question earned a bemused stare from Sarah Jane. “Pretty sure you're not the only one who'd love to know the history of the name,” she admitted. “For the record, it's technically 'The Pootylicious Fashion House'....” Her words trailed off in a half-stifled laugh. “....as for the name, I honestly don't remember where it came from.”

“I'm pretty sure nobody wants to remember,” the Doctor replied. “I wouldn't.”

Sarah Jane rolled her eyes at the remark. “I used to shadow one of the top fashion journos back in Ealing, and I can tell you right now that 'Pootylicious' isn't the weirdest name I've ever heard. A decade or so ago, the big thing was 'Juicy Couture'---I still don't know who thought that was a good idea.”

“We're riding to the hospital to check up on Mina Price,” the Doctor muttered, “and talking about this....”

“You're the one who started the conversation!” Sarah Jane couldn't help but laugh.

“Yeah, but I'm not the one mentioning 'Juicy Couture', am I?”

“Oh, stop....”

As the badged Porsche prepared to turn, the Doctor's focus on the conversation trailed off---a moving van had pulled up alongside the police vehicle. “....remember how I mentioned that moving van that picked up the jiang-shi?” he intoned.

“.....yes. But why---”

“It's just pulled up alongside us. I recognize the number plate.” The Doctor went for one of his coat pockets, carefully removing the fob watch. “They've probably got the jiang-shi in the back....” He checked the fob watch, grimacing. “...and of course they do. Meaning we have to chase the van down and make sure they don't get wherever they're going...” He tapped the divider behind the headrests of the front seats; “Any chance we can take a slight detour?” he asked, raising his voice to be heard through the soundproof barrier.

“What for?” Sgt. Tomlinson's voice replied.

“That van on the side of us---I think it's being used by...well, you know.”

“He's not driving it, is he?”

“It's transporting something of value to him, Sergeant. Either we stop the van now and destroy whatever is in it, or we let it get away and deal with the consequences later.” Something about the way the Doctor uttered the word “consequences” unsettled Sarah Jane greatly, but her reply was cut off by the sudden lurch forward, as the badged Porsche took off after the van. “Glad you see things my way,” the Doctor called out.

“It's a bit more than that, Doctor---they just sped right through the red light!”

The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Cornered rats always go for the easy way out,” he mused.

“Wouldn't it be bats, in this case?” Sarah Jane offered.

“....that's actually pretty funny,” the Time Lord admitted, grinning. “Nice!”

“Well, I tend to think weoooooah!” The only thing keeping Sarah Jane from hitting the seat in front of her was her seatbelt. “A bit of a warning would've been nice!” she called out, only refraining from tapping the barrier between seats due to the Porsche taking a sharp turn at alarming speed.

Even as the car hurtled through the turn, the Doctor managed to steady himself enough to keep the moving van in sight. “Stay on them, Sgt. Tomlinson---wherever they go, don't let them get away!”

“I'll do my best, Doctor---OH, MY GOD!

Apparently, the van had tried to emulate the Porsche's speed boost to pull ahead---failing to factor in the cars in the other lane, or what might happen if it were to collide with one of those cars at speed. The vehicle in question, a taxi, skidded out of the way after being smashed aside by the van....which, as a result of trying to over correct its steering to recover from the crash, ended up rolling over. Pedestrians scrambled out of the way, all other vehicles sped as far as they could to avoid being anywhere near the tumbling wreck, and Danielle Tomlinson's Porsche slowed to a halt just in time to see the van come to a halt by way of hitting a pylon.

“.....Sarah Jane,” the Doctor intoned, “stay with Danielle---”

“Like Hell I will!” Already halfway out of her seatbelt, Sarah Jane was midway through opening the door of the Porsche. “Those people need help, Doctor, and I---”

A hand on her shoulder cut her off. “The jiang-shi is still in the van. If it gets out, those people will die.”

“....so what do we do now?”

“You stay with Danielle. I'll finish off the jiang-shi....ah, Danielle? Do we have any more flares in the roadside assistance kit?” The Doctor craned his neck to get a better view of the front seat---only to realize Danielle was striding towards the wrecked van, nightstick at the ready. “DANIELLE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

“You said we had to kill the jiang-shi, didn't you?” Sarah Jane reminded him. “Maybe she's going to---”

“No, no, no, no, NO,” the Doctor groaned. “A jiang-shi is only weakened by really esoteric stuff---hen's eggs, or glutinous rice, or a sword carved from the wood of a peach tree---not exactly anything that's standard police issue! And the best way to kill one is with fire---hence the need for a road flare!” He wrenched himself free of the seat belt, nearly falling out of the Porsche as he opened the door. “Stay by the car---”

“First you wanted me to stay by Danielle,” Sarah Jane began, “and now---”

“Please, just listen to me!” the Doctor insisted, grabbing her shoulders. “This....this isn't the kind of thing that can be solved with massive firepower or brute force. We're fighting Dracula. He's been around for centuries, he's had plenty of time to plan for stuff like this....we can't take the Rambo route.”

Sarah Jane scowled. “I never said I wanted to take the Rambo route, Doctor....”

“Good. Now if we can just convince Danielle to follow that advice---”

“DOCTOR!”

Danielle's shout prompted an eye-roll from the Time Lord. “Speaking of which....”YES?!”

“We have a bit of a problem...”

“Seven words that never mean anything good....how big of a bit of a problem is it?”

“The drivers of this van.....you're going to want to take a look, Doctor.”

Something in Danielle's tone perturbed the Time Lord greatly. “....Sarah, despite all my advice to the contrary earlier,” he murmured, “stay here with the car. If anyone approaches and offers to help, tell them to talk to Danielle---if they try anything stupid, just kick them where it hurts the most.”

“I'll keep that in mind,” Sarah Jane replied, arching an eyebrow as the Doctor headed for the van.

It didn't take long to see what had disturbed Danielle so much---the crumpled bodies of both drivers should've been a mess of blood and bones in their seats. To the Doctor's surprise, neither driver had shed a single drop of blood in the crash—-their skin had been sliced, slashed and torn in multiple places, but not a single trace of a bone or any blood could be seen.

What could be seen, however.....

“Clockwork,” the Doctor intoned, his eyes widening. “They're....clockwork constructs---droids, wearing human skin!” He retrieved the Sonic Screwdriver from a coat pocket, aiming it at the nearest clockwork figure---

“Are you sure that's a good idea?” Danielle moved to get a better look, nearly knocking the Screwdriver out of the Doctor's hands in the process. “Easy, easy!” the Time Lord chided. “I just wanted to get a few readings, see where these things came from....other than the obvious.” He glanced at the cloth patch indicating a name on the uniform of the nearest droid. “Same type of uniform as the two in the abandoned van from before...”

All at once, the memory of his call with River came back: “Two-hundred and fifty-four people went missing, and somehow there was enough evidence to link all of them, in some way, shape or form, to the Ilhousen Clinic.

It seemed very, very probably that the two movers in the van had been among those who “came back.”

“The jiang-shi isn't in the van anymore, is it?”

Danielle frowned for a moment---she'd barely heard the Doctor's question, at first. “I....I didn't check---”

“Then check now.”

Without a second's hesitation, Danielle backpedaled until she reached the rear door of the van. “....it's open, Doctor,” she called out. “.....there's nothing inside but an empty crate....”

“Are you sure it's empty?”

“.....there's blood on the edges of it, the lid's off.....but there's nothing inside.” Danielle turned away. “It's not here, Doctor. The....jiang-shi, whatever it is....it's not here.”

“Back to the car, then.” Without another look at the flesh-clad clockwork figures in the front seats of the van, the Doctor turned on his heel and headed back towards Danielle's car. “We need to tell Lauden and the others about this---about all of it.”

“...but they're clockwork!” Danielle protested. “I mean....that's....it can't.....”

The Doctor turned to regard her with a bemused look. “I'm a time-traveling alien with two hearts, Dracula is currently hiding in Whitby, and there's a life-draining jiang-shi on the loose....” He gave a mirthless chuckle, turning away again. “...and the one thing, out of all of this, that horrifies you is the fact that there are clockwork people wearing human skin?”

“....it's just....weird,” Danielle quietly replied. “Weirder than....well, all the stuff you mentioned.”

“You'll get used to it,” the Doctor declared, not looking back as he headed for the badged Porsche. “Or go insane. Maybe both.”

Danielle took one final look at the motionless clockwork figures, pinned in the wrecked van.

“....sod it.” She shook her head and managed to not run to catch up with the Doctor.
-----------------------------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:05 pm
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:06 pm

“Think they fell for it?”

Lucia's question went ignored by Graaf for a few seconds. “.....I could take that entire group,” he muttered, his binoculars fixed on a mob of tourists across the street. “Give me five minutes, and it'd be done....”

“And you'd get flayed alive by the master as soon as he found out,” Lucia reminded him. “We're not---”

“I don't care what we're not 'supposed' to do,” Graaf spat. “This waiting, and hiding, and running....I HATE IT!”

It was an all-too-familiar scene for Lucia. Ever since Ealing, she and Graaf had stuck to their master's rule of “no daytime attacks”---Lucia had no problem with it, and actually embraced it. Graaf, of course, only pretended to like the arrangement when he stood before their master---his true thoughts surfacing as soon as he was out of earshot. In truth, not going after people in the daylight was probably the best possible course of action for the pair---there was less chance of being spotted by a wandering tourist or passing police officer.

Not that it mattered to Graaf, of course.

“We should be feeding, right now,” he muttered. “We should be stalking, hunting......not hiding.”

“You never answered my question,” Lucia cut in. “Do you think they fell for the van trick?” She grinned at the thought; “Stopping them midway and taking the jiang-shi was pretty nice,” she mused. “And the idiots still think it's in the---”

Hands grabbed her collar, pulling her away from her vantage point.

“I don't care about the van,” Graaf hissed. “I just want to get out of here.”

“Whether or not they fell for the van trick affects how quickly we can get out of here,” Lucia reminded him. “If they realize the jiang-shi wasn't in the van---”

“I am sick of hearing about the stupid jiang-shi. It's been dead longer than either of us have!” Graaf turned away, scowling. “We're out here, now, following the master's instructions and carrying out his wishes...where is the stupid jiang-shi, now?”

Anything Lucia could've said was interrupted by a bright green glow from behind her---she and Graaf turned to see a swirling green portal opening in the middle of a wall, with two rather strange figures stepping through it onto the ground. The first, a tall man in a lab coat, rather stained shirt and khaki pants, looked every bit the stereotypical mad scientist, especially with his pointed, blue-white hair---but his expression was one of a man who had seen everything his own world had to offer, gotten bored with a few other worlds, and then decided to crash a few space ships in his spare time “just because”. The smell of liquor permeated his clothes.

The second figure, a pre-teen boy in an orange shirt and blue jeans, looked rather nervous, especially when noticing Graaf and Lucia. “Ah, I think we took a wrong turn somewhere,” he stammered. “Maybe we---”

“Morty, when are you---” The older man belched loudly, startling Lucia. “---when are you gonna learn that, that people like these two....these freaks right here....they're nothing to be afraid of. Portal gun says we're in the clear anyway, this isn't even an official story or anything...” He belched again. “Yeah, not even an official story, like in a book---it's just a stupid lousy fanfiction!”

“What does that even mean, Grandpa Rick?!”

“It means---burp----it means we're not gonna have too much fun here, Morty. No booze, no swearing, no kind of gratuitous violence and gore---”

“If you want gratuitous violence,” Graaf snarled, stepping forward, “I'll be happy to oblige....”

The older man---Rick---turned to regard him with a lazy frown. “...you...you aren't...you're not even worth my time, Vlad, or whatever the hell your name is.” He rested a hand on Graaf's shoulder, earning a death glare from the vampire that he ignored---even as he started talking again. “I've got---burp---more to worry about than a tertiary antagonist in somebody's fan fiction. I'm looking for a McDonald's that has, that has that special Szechuan McNugget dipping sauce, from when the Mulan movie premiered....it's a really good, really great sauce, and why the hell am I telling you this, you're a damn vampire---”

“A vampire?!” Morty, the pre-teen, nearly fell over as he tried to back away from the pair.

“You're over-reacting, Morty....these two are just...they're supporting---burp---characters.”

“Morty?” Lucia frowned. “There was a Morty at the Xanadu in Ealing....but he sounded older. And very slightly Yiddish....” She glanced at Rick. “You two aren't like the Doctor, are you?”

“OKAY, that's, that's, that's it, Morty, we're leaving! We're outta here!” Rick turned on his heel (“accidentally” slapping Graaf in the process) and grabbed Morty by the shirt collar. “Soon as you hear the word 'Doctor'---that's Doctor with a capital D---you get the hell out of town as fast as you can. Galactic Federation is one thing, the Council of Ricks is...well, they're mostly dead, now...anyway, we need to leave before the Doctor knows we're here.”

“Doctor who?”

“Morty, believe me, you don't wanna know. Remember that time we killed the Simpsons by accident?”

“I've been trying to forget that, actually---”

“Yeah, well, you do something like that, and you end up on somebody's list. Sometimes, it's just the CIA, or the Council of Ricks, or something like that....but sometimes, that list belongs---burp---to the Doctor, and if it's his list, you're....you're screwed, Morty.” Rick planted his hands on Morty's shoulders, looking him square in the eye. “You ever piss off the Doctor, you're doomed, Morty. I don't even know if he knows I---burp---exist, yet....let's try to keep it that way.” He steered his grandson towards the portal, not bothering to accknowledge Lucia and Graaf with anything more than a condescending glance. “Let's get out of here before the Doctor and his stupid blue box show up.”

“But the Szechuan sauce!”

“There's always another McDonald's, Morty. We'll find the sauce another time.”

The two strangers walked back through the portal, which closed behind them almost instantly.

“....what the hell just happened?” Graaf muttered, staring at the wall where the portal had been.

Lucia shook her head. “Doesn't matter. They're not the issue--”

The portal in the wall opened again, just wide enough for Rick to poke his head out. “Oh, by the way, if either of you two---burp---freaks want to know how this little story ends.....eh, screw it. Not worth my time. You'll have your own problems soon enough.” With a shout of “WUBBA-LUBBA DUB DUB!”, he withdrew his head; the portal closed again before Lucia and Graaf could even think to ask what was going on.

“.....we're not telling the master about this, are we?” Graaf intoned. “Considering how those two compromised our secure vantage point without us knowing anything about them....”

“I won't if you won't.”

“Good.” Graaf turned his attention back to the tourists. “....I still say I could take that entire group....”
------------------------------
“....and they are prepared to alert me if anything at the museum changes. Apart from....a minor distraction, which they refused to elaborate on, nothing has happened.”

Dracula never looked away from the Elder as he spoke. The key was to always give the illusion, the absolute total impression, of control. The viewing of the portrait was less than an hour away, now; with any luck, it would be in his possession before the sun rose---at least, that was the plan. If all else failed, a van would drop off the jiang-shi at the entrance of the museum, creating a distraction---

“No.”

The Elder's voice cut into Dracula's thoughts like a blade. “.....I...I don't quite understand, Elder. What are---”

“Something is going on at the museum. Something....has gone wrong.....” The Elder's eyes narrowed to slits, as he glared at the Count. “Your acolytes have already failed you, Dracula...the portrait is being moved---”

“They can't have moved it out of the museum!” Dracula countered. “My watchers have the entire---”

“It is being moved,” the Elder continued, “to the inner-most vaults. The viewing will more than likely be post-poned.” He turned away, his fingers steepled. “We must move on without the portrait---”

“We cannot! I will not surrender the portrait to them.....I must have it!

“You have lost this battle, Dracula.....the portrait is out of our hands, for now. We will wait---” Exactly what it was Dracula was meant to wait for was never made clear---a swirling mist had enveloped the Count, only to disperse and reveal a swarm of bats in its place. “You cannot carry out this plan!” the Elder insisted. “You are willing to ruin us all for the sake of a portrait....”

Even as the swarm of bats headed for the nearest available exit, a voice sounded in the Elder's ears: “What you call ruin, I call opportunity. The portrait WILL be mine, Elder---no 'vault' can stop me!

“.....then go,” the Elder growled. “Recover the portrait.....but do not return without it.”

The only reply he received was a chilling laugh that seemed to fill the air, even as the last of the bat swarm had left the cavernous crypt.
------------------------------
“....you see that, Morty? That right there is how you---burp---set a mood for a good scene.”

Rick Sanchez watched the bat swarm fly out of the entrance to the Whitby Abbey crypt, nodding. “I'd love to stick around and see how this little art raid turns out, but we've got places to---burp---be, and Szechuan sauce to find, so---”

“I still don't get how we can end up in somebody's fan fiction!” Morty protested. “I mean, how is that even---”

“Morty,” Rick declared, “one of these days, you and I are going to have a---burp---long talk about this little thing called 'multiverse theory'. Short version: everything exists somewhere. Oh, and all that stuff I said about the Doctor earlier....just forget it. He's supposed to be a....a pacifist, or something....” He belched out the first half of “something”, following it with a cough. “....doesn't even carry a gun or anything! Just needed a convenient excuse to end the scene. Speaking of which, that Szechuan sauce isn't going to find itself!”

“.....but that was....that was actually Dracula?” Morty quietly asked. “The real Dracula?”

“Multiverse theory, Morty. Just don't think about it.” Rick pulled the trigger on the portal gun, nodding as a swirling green vortex opened in front of him. “Let's get out of here before some convoluted plot twist happens!”

With a quiet, defeated sigh, Morty followed his grandfather through the portal. It was going to be a long year.
-----------------------------------------------------
“It's not going to work.”

Lauden stared at the Doctor in disbelief. “We've got the highest-ranked security system in England, and you're saying it's not going to work?” he intoned.

“We're dealing with Dracula, remember? He can turn into mist...and that mist can---”

“I get it, I get it!” Lauden sighed. “So the security system won't work.”

“It'll keep everything else out, won't it?” Sarah Jane offered. “Ordinary burglars, and such....”

The Doctor managed to say “Of course” right before the door to Lauden's appropriated office flew open. “That stupid girl from earlier is back,” Emma huffed. “Lindsay....whatever her name was.”

Sarah Jane rolled her eyes. “The one who was shouting about Pootylicious?”

“.....yeah, that one.”

“Apparently, someone decided they didn't want her in Ealing,” the Doctor mused, “and sent her on her way so she wouldn't infuriate everyone there. Why they sent her here, of all places.....” He shrugged. “Not important for now. What matters is that, for now, the portrait is secure.”

“And why is a portrait so important?” Emma drawled. “It's a sodding picture....”

“A portrait of Vlad Tepes III,” the Doctor reminded her. “As in---”

“As in Dracula, I get it.” Emma rolled her eyes. “That still doesn't explain Lindsay being here, though.”

Lauden glanced at Danielle, who in turn glanced at Sarah Jane, who merely rolled her eyes before glancing in the general direction of the Doctor. “.....you're not blaming me for her being here, are you?” he intoned. “If I'd wanted her here---which I don't---I'd have had her transferred directly into a jail cell!”

“And yet she's in town right after you get here,” Lauden replied, not smiling. “Doctor, if there's anything---”

She tried to mug me!” the Doctor groaned. “First time I ever saw Lindsay, she tried to mug me with a toy gun, and when that didn't work, she tried beating me over the head with it. The only reason she ever traveled with me was by pure accident, and I've been trying to just...drop her off somewhere, out of the way, to where she won't hurt anyone else.” After a second's pause, he quickly added “or herself.”

“....so she's not some secret extra person for your little adventurer's club, then?” Sarah Jane inquired.

“NO! She's.....I don't even know why she keeps following me, other than the fact that she hates me, because I won't help her.....” The Doctor shook his head. “....I won't help her get her stupid Cherry Crush Pants.”

At this, Lauden let out a quiet “what?”, Danielle stifled a giggle, and Sarah Jane nearly doubled over laughing.

“That's a pretty stupid reason for someone to hate someone else,” Emma mused. “I mean, really stupid...like borderline clinically stupid.”

“I know,” the Doctor replied, nearly falling into a conveniently-placed chair as he went to sit down. “And I can pretty much guarantee that she wouldn't accept any offer to work with Dracula, because....well, I just explained her incredibly bizarre motivations, so....yeah.” He leaned back, sighing. “In any case, she's not the issue. If I recall correctly, there was the small matter of the portrait of---”

“Vlad Tepes Dracula, we know,” Emma drawled. “And it's in a vault right now---”

The Doctor groaned again, more because the chair he was sitting in nearly fell out from under him than at Emma's mention of the vault. “You'll recall,” he grunted, repositioning himself in such a way that he wouldn't be deposited on his face within a matter of seconds, “that Dracula is capable of turning himself into mist, as I mentioned earlier....it'd be a few paragraphs ago, if this were a book.” He smirked at the thought. “In any case, the vault's not going to keep him out---”

“You said that Dracula---the novel, I mean---actually happened,” Lauden cut in. “Wouldn't that mean.....there was some bit of vampire mythology about vampires needing to be invited into a place?”

Sarah Jane gasped, a smile slowly forming on her lips. “Of course! And we're not going to invite him to the vault, now, are we?” she beamed. “He can turn into mist all he wants, but he's not getting into that vault if nobody invited him.......what?” She noticed the Doctor's frown almost instantly. “What is it? What did I---”

“'Open to the public'.”

Those four words cast a pall of silence over the room---broken a second later, when Emma lightly coughed.

“.....the museum had a sign,” the Doctor stated, “on the front door: 'Open to the general public during the hours of', and a list of when it opens and closes. I have a feeling that's all the invitation Dracula needs---and you'll do well to recall that, before it was moved to the vault for 'security reasons', Baron Giles Lathos was invited to a private viewing of the portrait, and that invitation was never revoked. Or have your people tried to call 'Baron Lathos' to break the bad news to him yet?”

As quickly as it had appeared, Sarah Jane's smile faded. “....I hadn't really thought about all of that.....”

“Doctor,” Lauden breathed, “if the portrait was moved to the vault, there's no way on God's green Earth---”

“He was told about the murders in Ealing,” the Doctor retorted, “without your 'permission', if I recall correctly, and I have a feeling it'll be just as easy for him to get 'permission' to visit the vault for a just a quick peek at the portrait before anyone here does so much as lifts a finger to call in a warning ahead of time!”

“You're asking us to call ahead and keep a vampire---”

“Not a vampire, Lauden, the vampire! Dracula isn't just some idiot in a cape with a bad accent!” The Doctor rose from his chair, taking a deep breath. “He's been around for ages---centuries, specifically. I can almost guarantee that trying to just walk up and plant a wooden stake in his chest is a great way to get killed....”

“And we find ourselves back at the issue of 'he wants a painting',” Emma muttered.

“.....indeed,” the Doctor admitted. “I'm still trying to figure out the specifics of that one myself....but for now, let's not distract ourselves with the 'why' and try to make sure he can't get to the 'how'. For starters---don't bother trying to rescind Baron Lathos' invitation to the private viewing. He'll show up anyway, express his deepest regret that the portrait had to be moved, then maneuver his way into getting the head of the museum to tell him he can 'come back at any time'.” He rolled his eyes. “The joys of semantics, ladies and gentlemen.”

Emma frowned, but anything she might've offered as a reply or retort was cut off by Danielle: “So the whole thing of vampires needing to be invited into a place isn't true?”

“It is true,” the Doctor replied, “but....in Dracula's case, I'm pretty sure the rules are pretty flexible.”

“You keep saying that,” Lauden muttered. “The way you tell it, Dracula is some kind of super-vampire....”

“Because he is,” the Time Lord insisted. “The most powerful of his kind, and one of the oldest...” For a brief moment, he considered telling Lauden exactly why Dracula was so powerful, even among his own kind, and the root of all vampires' powers....

…...but the image of a familiar figure in a grey silk suit, standing behind the group and smirking, cut him off.

“.....ah, I....I need to get some fresh air,” he stated, heading for the door. “Won't be but a minute.” Any and all complaints about his sudden departure seemed muted, or too distant to hear; the seconds-long walk through the corridor seemed to take far too long....

…yet in the time it took him to blink, the Doctor found himself outside, behind the police station.

“You can't just out and say it, can you, Doctor? Can't tell them why Dracula is so powerful.......” Even with his eyes closed, the Doctor shivered---the voice of the Master was one that haunted his darkest memories. “It'd be so much easier to---”

“Why do you care?!” the Doctor snapped, turning to face the figure of his arch-nemesis. “Why should you?!”

The Master (or the projection of him, whichever it was) smirked. “It's a Time Lord's sworn duty to kill any and all vampires they come across,” he replied, “even the most powerful of them.....pity you had to be the one to run across Dracula. If it'd been me, I'd be parading through the streets of the Capitol right now, hailed as a hero by the Lord President—-”

“I doubt it,” the Doctor spat. “They're never going to call you a hero, after all you've done.”

“And you think they'll forgive you?” the Master countered. “You should be thanking me right now---”

“Oh, sure, because you're not supposed to be contacting me,” the Doctor drawled, “because nobody higher-up in the Time Lord hierarchy can know that I'm going up against the king of the vampires....” He turned away. “I get it. I'm their last resort, their dirty little secret---and if I fail, they can just say that it was the fault of that horrid little renegade Time Lord, the Doctor.....they'll write me off as a menace, an exile.” His bitterness was only bolstered by the Master's sarcastic laugh. “You give them way too much credit, you know....they'd never just 'write you off'. There's quite a bit of intrigue going on in the Capitol.....you remember Chancellor Goth, right?”

“......I remember him. Why---”

“Oh, he's making one of his little power plays again....ambitious little scamp.” The Master chuckled. “Nobody wants to bring up the old wars and the 'bad old days' while he's trying to campaign for a glorious Gallifreyan future and such....it'd be unseemly. He hasn't even mentioned you, yet.....nobody wants to talk about—-”

“WELL, MAYBE THEY SHOULD!”

The Doctor glanced over his shoulder---if any passing police officers had heard his outburst.....

“.....maybe they should,” he repeated, his voice nearly a whisper. It didn't matter that the Master was no longer present, in projected form or otherwise....he knew, now, that his crusade against Dracula was being ignored on Gallifrey, in favor of the usual political nonsense. “They should talk about it....they should focus on it...” He turned away, shaking his head. The Time Lords would ignore his fight until the very end, just like “protocol” and “standard procedure” dictated. They would never focus on the vampire menace until after it was gone.

As he turned to re-enter the police headquarters, the Doctor heard the Master whisper, one last time: “I'll be rooting for you, Doctor. Don't let me down.” An almost child-like giggle punctuated the remark.

Well aware that his fists were clenched tight enough for the fingernails to draw blood from his palm, the Time Lord ignored the pain and re-entered the building. Was it really that bad on Gallifrey, to the point where even the Master was “rooting for” him? If anything, it was merely one last swipe from across the cosmos, one last jab at the Doctor's ego....

….but if even the Master wanted the Doctor to succeed....just how high were the stakes of this little war?
-----------------------------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:20 pm

“......don't say it.”

Emma's remark earned a quizzical stare from Danielle Tomlinson. “....don't say what?”

“Don't say you expected this,” Emma replied, not smiling. “We're parked out here, watching the entrance of the museum, just waiting to see what happens....it's 7 minutes to midnight, and I'm bored out of my sodding skull right now.” She groaned. “If there's anything I hate more than waiting, it's---”

Danielle held up a hand to stop her. “Look.”

“At what?! It's just a---”

Emma's protests ended rather quickly after she noticed a figure on the wall of the museum---human, or at the very least, humanoid, but scaling up the wall in a most decidedly inhuman fashion. The black-clad shape moved like a lizard, climbing the wall to a high window at an all-too disturbing speed.

“Oh, my God...” Emma put a hand to her mouth, trying not to dwell on what she was staring at. “That's...is that actually....it's really.....” The name “Dracula” was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn't bring herself to speak it, as if merely saying it out loud would summon the vampire right to the passenger's side window of the Porsche. “.....he's climbing up,” she gasped, “like a.....like some kind of.....”

“We have to tell the Doctor.” Danielle went for her phone, but a horrified gasp from Emma stopped her. The figure on the wall---there was no denying that it had to be Dracula---seemed to slip into the opened window as if it were barely even there. For the briefest moment, it seemed as if the body and limbs of the Count had turned to pure vapor, slipping through the crack and disappearing into the darkness of the museum's interior in less time than it took Emma to finally let out the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. “....oh, my God,” she whispered. “.....he's.....he just.....did you see that......”

“I did.” Danielle quietly moved to open the door of the Porcshe. “Just stay here, and---”

“You're not leaving me alone out here!” Emma protested. “At least give me a Tazer or something!”

Danielle frowned. “You really think a Tazer is going to stop a vampire?”

“Then some garlic Mace or something, I don't care! Just something to keep me from getting killed---”

Inside the museum, someone screamed.

“Just come on!” Danielle threw open the door, motioning for Emma to follow her. “Stay close, and don't do anything stupid---”

Her request was cut off by another scream---and the shattering of the window Dracula had climbed up to mere moments before. Emma and Danielle stared, horrified, as the flailing body of a security guard fell to the ground with a disgusting wet crunch.

“.....come on!” Danielle motioned for Emma to follow her. “And stay close!”

“Did you not see what just happened?!” Emma protested. “There's a corpse on the ground, now---”

“And we'll be joining it if we don't get a move-on!” Danielle shot back. “Now come on!”

Emma groaned. “Remind me to never complain about being bored again after we get out of here....my God, this is just terrifying!”

“Less talk,” Danielle ordered, “more running!”
------------------------------
The situation was just as chaotic within the museum---though not for the reason Emma and Danielle thought.

“I thought you said this....jiang-shi, whatever it is, was too dead to pose a threat!” Lauden shouted, as another security guard was hurled into a display case for some priceless rellic. “That it could barely move at all!”

“You saw that for yourself, Lauden,” the Doctor replied, flinching as another guard hit a wall. “Things change.”

“But how?!

The Time Lord sighed. “.....it's complicated.”

“People are being killed, Doctor---I need a better explanation than just---”

“I DON'T KNOW, okay?! I don't know why the jiang-shi is suddenly more powerful, and more mobile than before! It could be anything!” The Doctor flattened himself against the wall, drawing in a breath. “If I had to guess,” he muttered, “the jiang-shi was allowed to feed off of a more powerful being than itself....”

Lauden's eyes squeezed shut. “Dracula. It fed off of Dracula, didn't it?”

“I don't even know if it could.....” Even as he spoke, the Doctor realized that the jiang-shi might've fed on an entirely different being. “....whatever the case, we need to stop it from killing anyone else, and make sure the portrait is still secure.”

“And how do you expect us to stop that thing, Doctor?”

Lauden watched as the Time Lord reached into his coat pocket, pulling out a slip of paper with Asian writing on it. “I found this in Mina's room. A paper talisman, the same kind used in Chinese myth to control a jiang-shi if need be....” He leaned back against the wall. “If I can get close enough to apply it to the jiang-shi's forehead, I might be able to get it to destroy itself.”

“You're not going to kill it yourself?”

“Killing a jiang-shi requires some rather....esoteric methods. Getting it to destroy itself is far more preferable.”

“So how do you intend to get close enough to attach that....paper....to it?” Lauden inquired. “Especially without getting yourself killed in the process?”

The Doctor let out a short chuckle. “I'll think of something. Just be sure to cover me when I give the signal---”

“We are not doing 'signals' at a time like this!” Lauden hissed. “If you get yourself killed out there---”

A hand rested on his shoulder, steadying him.

“Hey,” the Doctor murmured, staring into the Chief Inspector's eyes and giving a reassuring grin. “Trust me.”

Despite his misgivings---with the Doctor's plan, with the fact some semi-mythical Chinese vampire was loose in the Whitby museum, and basically with the situation in general---Lauden nodded. “I do.”

“Good---that was the signal.” With a quick thumbs-up, the Doctor dashed out from around the corner, running towards a large statue across the room. On the far end, the jiang-shi was moving towards another screaming guard, hands outstretched to hold the man down as it drained the life from him.

Lauden crossed himself. “Ready when you are, Doctor.....”

As if he'd heard, the Time Lord dashed out from behind the statue, sprinting towards the jiang-shi.

What happened next was.....bizarre, to say the least. Lauden would later claim, in the official report filed with the Whitby branch of the Metropolitan Police, that he never did figure out who was shooting in the general direction of the jiang-shi, nor why every single shot---despite hitting numerous display cases and the exhibits in them---never came close to hitting the Doctor. He also had no idea who had left a note behind (found by investigators during the routine post-incident cleanup work) that read “I owed him one”, signed “R.S.” and with a pair of hearts right next to the word “him”.

Whatever the case, as it happened, glass splintered and bullets slammed into everything around the Doctor, in a veritable cacophony of noise, debris and shards.

At no point, during any of this, did the Doctor slow down, stumble or even hint at breaking his stride.

The claw-like fingernails of the jiang-shi had just brushed up against the neck of the security guard, the fingers curling in anticipation of clamping down to hold the terrified man in place---and before the man could even blink, the jiang-shi was hurled to the ground by a flying tackle from the Doctor. The man would later report that he'd heard a half-screamed, half-grunted war cry of some kind issue from the Time Lord just before he'd hit the jiang-shi and knocked it over.

“LAUDEN! GET OVER---quit it! GET OVER HERE AND---stop it!” The Doctor tried to hold down the hissing, spitting creature to apply the paper talisman, but knew that his efforts wouldn't work. “HELP ME HOLD THIS THING DOWN!”

To his credit, Lauden managed to cross the room in record time (for himself, at least), even if it left him winded for a good five minutes afterwards. “.....right.....you need....you need me to....hold down...that?”

YES!

With a half-groan, half-gasp, Lauden managed to jog over to the Doctor and the jiang-shi, actually retrieving the handcuffs from his belt. “....get the....get the arms....behind it---”

“Can't! Rigor mortis....they won't move!” Indeed, the jiang-shi was laying on its side.

“......just move,” Lauden huffed, moving to grab the thing by the legs. “Good enough?”

Without even looking at Lauden, the Doctor re positioned himself to slap the talisman onto the forehead of the jiang-shi, immediately stepping back afterwards. “You can let go, now.”

Lauden rose with a grunt, watching as the jiang-shi stopped struggling.

“Stand up,” the Doctor commanded, nodding as the creature followed the order. “Go to the window.”

Silently, the jiang-shi made its way---hopping all the while---to the window it had hurled a guard through.

Again, without looking at Lauden, the Doctor approached the jiang-shi, retrieving an unused road flare from his coat pocket. As Lauden watched, confused, the Time Lord pulled the cap off of the flare and lit it, shoving it down the back of the jiang-shi's robe. “Now jump. Through the window.”

A second passed, then another......and then the jiang-shi hopped forward once, twice--

Lauden looked away. Yes, the thing had been dead for centuries, and yes, it had killed two guards and more than likely crippled three others, but that didn't make it easier to watch as it jumped through the window, now fully engulfed by the flames from the road flare, to its destruction. A scream from outside, more than likely from Emma, punctuated the horrific scene, followed by the hollow crunch of the jiang-shi hitting the ground.

“We should probably leave,” the Doctor advised, brushing past Lauden without pausing. “I'll drive---”

“The vault,” Lauden breathed. “The portrait, the stupid bloody portrait, is in the vault---”

“It was,” the Doctor corrected. “It was in the vault, Lauden....the jiang-shi was the distraction. While we were in here, dealing with it, the portrait that was relocated to the vault was stolen from the vault. If we'd gone down to deal with it ourselves, there would be a few more dead guards up here.” He sighed. “And before you ask,” he added, sotto voce, “yes, it was stolen by Dracula.”

The beginnings of a migraine once again overcame Lauden. “.....Dracula....stole the portrait.....”

As if on cue, the radio at his belt crackled to life. “Chief Inspector,” Danielle Tomlinson's voice declared (the radio sounding remarkably clear even in the cavernous room), “Emma and I saw....there's no other way to put it---” A gasp issued through the speaker, followed by a groan; the radio had involuntarily changed hands. “We saw Dracula climbing up the side of the building!” Emma's voice cut in. “Then he sort of...turned into mist and went through a half-opened window---oh, my God!” For a few seconds, the only sounds on the radio were heavy breathing and footsteps---the Doctor thought he noticed a slight disparity in the two sets of footsteps, but only one person with labored breath.....

“....he's climbing----Doctor, he's climbing out of the window now!” Emma sounded both terrified and....stunned, for lack of a better term, as if she were watching an exotic creature that could kill her in minutes. “He's not carrying a...a frame, or anything....”

“Your men are going to find an empty frame in the vault,” the Doctor intoned, not smiling as he rested a hand on Lauden's shoulder. “More than likely, the glass will be intact.” He turned his attention back to the police radio; “What else is he doing right now, Emma?” he inquired. “Be as specific as possible---unless he's noticed you, then feel free to run---”

“Doctor,” Lauden breathed, “what in the name of all that's holy in this world is happening here?!”

The Doctor didn't look him in the eye. “If this were chess, we'd be in check. Three moves to escape, with at least two leading to checkmate.”

“.....and what do you suggest we do now?”

“Leave. Immediately. Give your men at least an hour, maybe two, before they make a thorough examination of the crime scene---” Here, Lauden started to protest, but the Doctor held up a hand. “If the wrong people get the wrong information about what happened here tonight, it could undo all we're trying to accomplish....and quite a few innocent people could end up getting hurt, or worse.”

Lauden's jaw trembled---it didn't take a master of interpreting body language to see the man was a few short seconds away from unleashing a torrent of abuse at the Time Lord.

“I know what you want to do, right now,” the Doctor continued. “To Dracula, and to me. And I wouldn't blame you for any of it.” There was a sadness in his voice, a melancholy, that seemed to mark him as being far older than he looked. “But what you're doing this now---holding this rage, wishing you could turn it against someone, anyone......it's not going to help you. It'll only hurt.

Then what the hell should I do, Doctor?!' Lauden hissed. His eyes, already bloodshot from too many nights with little or no sleep, were beginning to water---clearly, rage wasn't the only thing he was holding back.

A quiet sigh left the Time Lord's lips. “Trust me. That's all I ask you to do, right now. Just....trust me. Please.”

His eyes closed, his fists shaking, Lauden nodded. “....I trust you, Doctor. Just.....promise me you'll stop this madness before anyone else dies.....”

The Doctor was already heading for the door. “You have my word, Lauden. Cross my hearts, hope to die.”
-----------------------------------------------------
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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DukeNukem 2417
Posts: 271
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:24 pm

“So he got the portrait? Grabbed it and scarpered, while you were going after the jiang-shi?”

Father Wyngarde's bemused response to the night's events did little to ease Lauden's headache. “It was the best we could do under the circumstances,” he muttered. “One man thrown out of a window, another found dead in the toilet, three more crippled....” He slumped back in the chair of “his” office (the Whitby branch of the Metropolitan Police had allowed him to effectively move into the resident Chief Inspector's office, since its usual occupant was on sick leave) and sighed. “I still don't know what's so special about that stupid portrait,” he groaned. “It's just....it's a painting, of Vlad Tepes III, isn't it?”

“From the front, yes,” Wyngarde agreed. “Pity it's never been turned around, out of the frame....”

Lauden sat up, staring at the priest. “What did you say?”

“You didn't think Dracula was trying so hard to steal it it just to stare at an image of what he used to look like, did you?” Wyngarde wasn't smiling. “In 1999, during my little 'world tour', I discovered what, in modern music terms, was on the 'B-side' of the portrait---a fitting analogy, considering---”

“What?” Lauden breathed. “What, what do you mean, what's on the B-side? The other side of the---”

“He means,” the Doctor intoned, “that the portrait had something inked onto the reverse side, under orders from Vlad Tepes himself, no doubt.” He steepled his fingers, frowning. “I've heard...rumors, about it, for years, and never really put much stock into them....until now, of course---”

“Rumors of what?!” Lauden insisted. “What in blazes are you---”

“One of the lesser-known stories about Vlad Tepes III,” Father Wyngarde stated, “involves his....meeting, with a popular bard of the time. Some retellings say it was a mutual arrangement, others say the artist was forced to meet Vlad or even kidnapped. In any case, the bard was asked, by Vlad III, personally, to compose for the voivode a piece of music that would last through the centuries, as a monument to the name of 'Tepes'...the bard, either too naïve to understand who he was dealing with or just not wanting to face the usual punishment that one earned for displeasing Vlad, agreed.” He shifted in his chair. “The story gets....a bit sketchy, as to how the bard went about composing this piece, and the various versions of it differ wildly as to how he ended up writing what he did, but the end result was something beautiful, and horrifying. Enthralling and repulsive, haunting and....well, possibly haunted.”

“The Rondo of Blood,” the Doctor finished, his tone grim.

“.....rondo of......what?!” Lauden stared at the two, clearly confused. “That sounds like---”

“Something off of a Japanese video game,” the Doctor replied, still not smiling. “Believe me, if that's all it was, we wouldn't be here now.” He glanced at Father Wyngarde, as did Lauden. “The Rondo was arranged to be performed at the final great triumph of Vlad Tepes III,” he explained. “At least, according to legend...of course, there wasn't really any kind of 'final great triumph' to perform it for. Vlad died before the arrangement could ever be performed.” He chuckled. “Not that people haven't tried to play it themselves—or versions of it. You wouldn't believe how many people have tried to 'discover' the Rondo on their own....”

“But what.....why is a song so important?” Lauden insisted. “Why does it---”

“Because the 'final great triumph' it was written and arranged for was the creation and unveiling of a new castle for the voivode,” the Doctor stated. “A bastion for the armies of Vlad Tepes III, from which they could rule over their conquests with impunity. Ring any bells?”

Lauden's eyes went wide. “.....the resort.....dear God.....”

“I'd say that resort would make for a 'final great triumph',” Wyngarde mused. “Wouldn't you?”

“It gets worse,” the Doctor added. “The Rondo itself is only half of the equation---it was inked onto the back of that portrait for a reason. Some claim it was imbued with....something. Magic, a dark power, the soul of its own composer---no two versions of the story ever say the same thing. Whatever it was that made the Rondo such a....unique....piece of music, it could only work if it was played from 'the image'---the portrait it had been written on in the first place.”

“And some claim,” Father Wyngarde mused, “that playing the Rondo of Blood at the scene of his final, great triumph can work to effectively protect him from ever having his powers sealed away, as my associates and I did in 1999.....meaning we can't allow him to have that music performed at the opening of the resort.”

After a few seconds of silently staring at the floor (and popping an aspirin for good measure), Lauden glanced at the Doctor and Wyngarde. “.....on any other day of any other week,” he muttered, “what both of you just said would be grounds for me to have you brought to a psychiatric clinic and evaluated for maybe a year---given the things you've done, Doctor, I could've easily had you arrested.” He drew in a deep breath, exhaling through his nostrils and shaking his head. “As it stands, your claims are in fact supported by....well, evidence, and what I've seen with my own sodding eyes.....”

He nodded. “Whatever it takes to help the two of you stop Count Dracula....I'll do it.”

Father Wyngarde nodded, but the Doctor merely returned Lauden's stare with his own. “For the record, that smacking you in the forehead thing was....it was a stupid thing for me to do, under any circumstances---”

“Heat of the moment, Doctor. You were frustrated, I was being obtuse. Think nothing of it.”

“.....you're sure?”

“Positive. Unless you keep bringing it up, in which case I might change my mind about not having you arrested for it.” The faintest hint of a smirk on Lauden's lips was proof enough that he was being sarcastic. “I've been hit with worse, as well...but enough about that. You're both sure that Dracula will perform this...Rondo of Blood at the resort opening?”

“That is the only logical reason he'd steal the portrait,” Wyngarde replied. “Other than narcissism, at least.”

“Bottom line,” the Doctor cut in, “we need to get the portrait back from Dracula before the opening ceremonies start for that stupid resort of his. I can't stress that enough: we can't let him perform the Rondo of Blood.

Again, Lauden nodded. “So what's our first move to stop him from performing the Rondo?”

“Figuring out where this resort of his will be breaking ground,” the Doctor replied. “I'm pretty sure we won't be able to tie him up in red tape---metaphorically speaking, of course---since he's technically 'nobility'....”

“I can make a few calls,” Lauden offered. “Friends in high places, and all...see if they can at least try to stall him for time. It might not be exactly what you asked for, Doctor, but....considering all that's happening, it's the least I can do.”

“It'll be more than enough, for now.” The Doctor glanced at Father Wyngarde. “And you?”

“The High Church and the Low Church may not see eye-to-eye on everything,” the priest chuckled, “but I can almost guarantee that the destruction of a vampiric fiend like Dracula is a good enough reason for them to work together. I'll put in a few calls of my own, if anyone's willing to take part in a 'spontaneous protest'....even if it doesn't put a dent in the Count's plans, it should be enough to distract him for a good while.”

“Good enough for me. Now, before we---”

A scream from outside the room cut him off. “....Emma?!”

The Doctor nearly tripped over his own feet trying to get to the door, but Lauden was at his side to keep him from falling and bashing his head against anything. “Are you---”

“Fine,” the Doctor gasped. “Out there.....Emma....she just screamed---”

“Ah, is there any particular reason the computer over there says 'armory open'?” Wyngarde cut in, frowning. “It looks like every officer in the building is....oh.” His expression turned grim. “Lauden.....”

It was the Chief Inspector's turn to nearly fall over his own feet. “Armed Response Unit gun storage.....” He careened off a wall by way of pushing off with both hands; the Doctor turned to glance at Father Wyngarde one last time before following Lauden out. “LAUDEN! WAIT UP!

By the time he reached the Chief Inspector, he understood why Lauden hadn't replied.

Emma was in the center of the room, staring right at the Doctor and Lauden---but otherwise looking completely terrified. It wasn't hard to see why---a dozen officers in full riot response gear, with face-shielding helmets and wielding Styer AUG carbines, were stationed all around the room, their weapons pointed directly at Emma. If any three of them were to pull the trigger, their shots would more than likely tear through the girl's brain or heart, killing her in less time than it would take the Doctor to blink.

Worse than this, however, was the matter of who was standing behind Emma....

“My most humble apologies, Doctor,” Count Dracula intoned, giving what was obviously meant to be a genial smile. “The sign on the door claimed that the public was free to enter and ask questions of their trusted law enforcement personnel...”

“Get away from her,” Lauden ordered, taking a step forward. “If you do so much as---”

Three of the officers trained their guns on Lauden, without so much as a gesture from Dracula.

“I'm afraid you are in no position to make any demands of me, Chief Inspector,” the Count replied, his smile turning sinister. “I merely 'dropped in' to ask a simple question....even if my methods are a tad...theatrical, I intend only to ask that question, and then depart.” His stare never left Lauden. “And as for that question....” His lips peeled back in a shark's grin, revealing his teeth---and the dreaded fang-like incisors.

“Don't.” The Doctor knew he was begging, but he didn't care. “Whatever you're about to do to her....just....”

“The question,” Dracula echoed. “Allow me to ask it, and she will be returned to you, completely unharmed.”

The Doctor didn't even look at Lauden. “Fine by me.”

Dracula nodded. “Now, then......did either of you actually believe you could stop me?”

“We did.” There was something in the Doctor's voice that, to Lauden, was almost flat. “We still do.”

Again, the Count smiled---he even laughed, this time. “You still believe you actually stand a realistic chance of defeating me? You actually think---”

“You said you wanted to ask a question,” the Doctor cut in. “As in just one.”

The rebuke earned him a glare of hatred from the Count. “Mind your tongue, Doctor....your pet human is---”

Every officer in the room aimed their weapons at the Doctor, watching as he strode towards Dracula.

“Doctor, what the hell are you---” Lauden stopped himself just as several safeties clicked off around the room.

“Emma is not my 'pet human',” the Time Lord intoned, now merely three feet from the hated vampire. “She has nothing to do with any of this---”

One more step, Doctor,” Dracula hissed, “and she will be mine! Would you allow it? Would you dare to---”

“You take even one drop of blood from her, and neither of us will be leaving this building!” The Doctor pulled his fob watch from his pocket. “Whatever whammy you put on them,” he added, waving his arm at the still-mesmerized officers, all of whom were still aiming their guns at him, “I can probably counter---hell, I could get them all under my control, have them cut us both down in a crossfire if need be.” An uncharacteristically ugly sneer crossed his lips. “I'm pretty sure that a hail of semi-automatic gunfire would do just as much damage to your heart as a wooden stake, just so you know...”

“And you would take the risk of this girl being killed as well?” Dracula countered.

“She's smart,” the Doctor replied. “She'd duck.”

“Then let us test your theory!” Dracula pulled Emma close, forcing her to turn her head and bare a sizable portion of her neck. “Your kind have been known to live their lives in darker shades with the passing of aeons,” he declared. “You have yet to even---”

Let her go, or we both die!”

The interruption did little to throw the Count off. “....so young,” he murmured, “so full of life....yet already, I see a darkness in you. A shadow over your hearts....already, you play your games with the lives of others. Has this one become nothing but a pawn to you? Have you already prepared to sacrifice her, for even a hope of a checkmate against---”

“LET HER GO!” The Doctor raised the fob watch. “Either you let her go, and leave....or we both die.”

“You cannot 'talk me down' from this, Doctor! Even if this is not my final triumph, it shall serve as one of my greatest!” Dracula's eyes blazed with an unholy rage, even as he smiled. “The girl is mine!

TO BE CONTINUED
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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bad geminton
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Re: Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 2

Postby bad geminton » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:06 pm

Another great chapter, very good work as always.
Do you know who I miss? That guy with the potatoes, let's bring him back...


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