Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 4

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Doctor Who: The Doctor vs. Dracula - Part 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:29 pm

Everything hurt.

Standing in the dining room of the unfinished Castle Dracula, paralyzed by vampire blood (from no less a vampire than Dracula himself, at that), the Doctor could hardly breathe. The room was getting harder and harder to focus on---his vision swam with soft focus, blurring colors and things that were moving when they should've been staying still.

And Dracula, the King of the Vampires and would-be ruler of the castle, was “letting” him die slowly.

“This pain,” the Count murmured, “is excruciating, is it not? You feel like every breath of air you take in could be your last, that every motion you try to make will send fire through you....”

“....you.....won't win,” the Time Lord managed. “I.....I won't....let......”

Dracula showed no fear of the Doctor's attempt at a threat. “I must admit, I am impressed at your tenacity, Lord Doctor,” he stated. “Few who have endured the bite of a vampire would dare to fight as you do now---and fewer still would dare to overcome it while paralyzed. You are, even among your kind....unique. After ages of dealing with Harkers, and Holmwoods, and Van Helsings, and far too many self-proclaimed 'vampire hunters', I find it....refreshing, to face a true challenge, such as yourself.....”

He hung his head in mock pity. “.....but all good things must come to an end, Lord Doctor......”

“.....no......”

“I'm afraid so. You and your allies have learned, discerned or otherwise stumbled upon far too many details regarding my plans---Castle Dracula, the clockwork automatons, the Rondo of Blood.....” Dracula shook his head. “Such knowledge, in the wrong hands, could prove devastating to me, and while I do, in fact, admire your tenacity and refusal to surrender.....”

He moved in close, once again mere inches from the Doctor's ear. “....I cannot allow you to live another day.”

“I...won't......can't die....here,” the Doctor managed. “Have to.....”

“Any so-called prophecies about your fate will be rendered null and void in a short while, Lord Doctor,” Dracula casually informed him. “But just in case you do escape from this series of unfortunate events....” He crossed the room, stopping near one of the doors. “When the castle opens to the public,” he called out, “all guests will sign their names to mark the occasion....more than likely, it will make identifying their remains that much easier in the aftermath of what will follow.” He chuckled again. “In the meantime....”

The sound of a page being torn from a book, and something lightweight being picked up, were all the Doctor could hear at any level of clarity; Dracula's footsteps, and most of the ambient noise of the room, seemed to be muffled and distant one second, only to become deafening the next.

“Should you manage to overcome the effects of consuming vampire blood,” Dracula stated, “and somehow find a way out of the castle without being spotted by my servants, there is at least one remedy that will fully remove the toxins from your system....garlic, mustard seed, Aconite, Digitalis, Holly, and the flower of a white rose, all boiled in blessed water.....” The scratch of a pen against paper seemed to roar in the Time Lord's ears. “In any other circumstances, such a mixture would more than likely incapacitate, if not outright kill you.....but if by some miracle you can escape....it will remove every last trace of my blood from you, and you will be cured.”

He stood before the Doctor, now, stuffing the paper into his coat pocket with a smile. “Sadly, I believe that even that will not help you survive----not after what you will be put through next. You see, Lord Doctor, I have found, in the course of my studies, that the blood of a Time Lord, when consumed by one of my kind.....”

His smile turned positively demonic as he moved closer. “.....is particularly sublime......”

No.....no.......” The Doctor tried to move, to inch away from Dracula, but his limbs refused to give way.

“I can only imagine the potency your blood will have, Lord Doctor,” the Count whispered. “Until this point, I have merely hypothesized in regards to the effects of drinking your blood....but now, here, within Castle Dracula itself, I will taste Time Lord blood upon my lips.....”

“.....please.....stop.......”

“It is far too late for you to fight now, Lord Doctor. This moment, this victory.....is mine......”

Dracula bared his teeth, inching ever closer to the Doctor's neck. At any moment, the canines would pierce his flesh; if he could only move even one arm, any of the countermeasures he'd retrieved from Jack Harkness' cache would be at his disposal. Everything seemed to move so slowly, the room was spinning one way and pitching the other....if he could just--

UNGH!

He knew the sound had come from his mouth, just as Dracula's teeth had pierced the flesh of his neck....but at that particular moment, whatever nonsense he'd spoken was the least of his concerns. The very air in his lungs seemed to grow stale; the room was thrown into harsh clarity, and every limb and extremity hurt.

All at once, he went limp in the Count's grasp.

Yes,” Dracula moaned, “it is.....this is beautiful!” Sighs of intense pleasure left his lips. “The sights, the sounds, the memories....every moment you have lived, I now live....” His grip on the Doctor loosened, causing the Time Lord to collapse to the floor; something struck his forehead on the way down, but he barely felt it.

“Oh, Doctor...what you have given me.....” A throaty laugh filled the chamber. “I cannot thank you enough!”

Even if the Doctor could hear or understand what Dracula was saying, it was the last thing on his mind. Slowly, his limbs feeling like lead, he tried to crawl to the nearest door...but every movement was slower, more feeble than the last. His body was failing him, his thoughts were becoming muddled, and the beating of his hearts would only sustain him for minutes, now. The energy that would've allowed him to regenerate was fading.

Emily......

The thought of Emily Grace Quinn, still recuperating in hospital---waiting for him to return and tell stories of his latest adventure---brought tears to the Doctor's eyes. She'd never know, of course, that his last thoughts were of her---it might take her weeks, or even months, to realize that he'd fallen against Dracula.

Jack and River would both know, in due time. They'd swear to avenge him....they definitely could.

His own people, of course, would react....differently. Some might mourn his passing, others would more than likely say he was foolish to stand against Dracula......but then again, would they know? Borusa had said that no Time Lord would be allowed to aide the Doctor directly in his fight....and if none were allowed to help him, it was almost a given that none would even know of his death until far after the fact. He wanted to protest, to curse those who had effectively condemned him.....

..but the Doctor's last thought, as he lay bleeding and dying on the floor of Castle Dracula, was of Emily.

“...forgive me......”

His eyes began to close, as he felt his hearts slowing to a crawl.....

".....goodbye....."

In that moment, he heard what, at any other time, would've been a welcome sound: the VWROP, VWROP of a TARDIS. More than likely, it was a memory of better times, of......

…wait. Something's.....different......

Dracula's laugh had faded. The vampire was still shouting, but there was none of the sheer, unfiltered bliss from before in his voice, now. It was impossible to make out any words, but the Doctor could tell that whatever was happening, it was angering the Count.

I'm not dead yet, either.....I can....try for the door.....

Faint snatches of words were audible, now: “---WAY FROM HIM! I COMMAND....”

...no use....it's too far....I can't....I'm....floating? Why am I....

The Doctor felt himself moving further away from the door---whatever was causing this newest development, it wasn't Dracula's doing. The Count was roaring, now, even if the specific words were impossible to hear. The room seemed to fade into a blue mass......

….can't.....keep going.....just.....rest my eyes......

Slowly, the Time Lord closed his eyes. Even if he'd never open them again, a rest was better than---

All around him, things were splintering, crashing, breaking. Wherever he was, now, the place was getting torn apart.....or was it? All of the sounds of destruction were....outside, somehow.....but....

need to rest. I need to....just rest, for a minute.....

He tried, for a minute, to open his eyes and get a look at where he was, now...but it was impossible to focus on anything. All he knew was that he was in a room---a large room, and away from Dracula. More than good enough for now.

…can sleep, now....not sleep, I just...only need a rest....I'll just rest......

“Get up.”

Female. Brusque, but not unfeeling. It wasn't the voice of the Count---nor was it the voice of Emma, Danielle, or even River. This was new.

“You have to get up, Doctor. We're nearly there.”

Again, the Doctor struggled to open his eyes. The room around him still wasn't coming into focus---the figure standing over him barely even registered, at first.....until it---she knelt down. “Doctor,” she repeated, “you have to get up. We're nearly there.”

“.....I just.....Need to rest......”

“Not yet, I'm afraid. If you fall asleep now, you probably won't wake up again. You need to focus---”

“Emily......tell her.....” The Doctor's head lolled. “....tell her...I'm sorry.....” Tears streaked down his cheeks.

“I won't have to. Just stay awake, and focus on me---on the sound of my voice, if you can. We're nearly there, Doctor....”

The Doctor was sobbing, now. “.....Emily.....”

Hands gripped his shoulders, steadying him.

Doctor......”

Now, the Time Lord fully opened his eyes, even as the tears kept coming.

The face before him was unfamiliar---female, just as the voice had been, with thin lips, a narrow nose and eyes which stared into his own with an intensity that basically commanded his attention.

“Your life,” the woman stated, “is in my hands....and I intend to do whatever I can to save it.”

“.....who.......”

The word barely left the Doctor's tongue as he felt himself go limp.

“Doctor! Just hang on----”

Silence. Darkness.

okay, am I dead now?

am I even supposed to be thinking, if I'm dead?

this is stupid. If I were dead.....okay, there's a road of questions, theories and speculations that's best left untraveled for now. I'm obviously thinking, so my brain is still alive....that just begs the question of whether or not the rest of me is----

A blinding pain shot up the Doctor's leg.

GAAAAAAHAHHHH!!

“....I'd tell you not to yell in my ear again, but seeing as how you've been unconscious for about half an hour, the fact that kicking an empty soda can has this much of an impact on you is just enough to qualify as good news....” The woman's voice, again---obviously, she was the one half-carrying him through....wherever it was he happened to be now.

.....that.....HURT.......

“A side-effect of the stabilization, I'm afraid. Hypersensitivity is the least of your problems, though---we still need to get the toxins out of you---”

“Get.....what?!

“Try not to talk, or to hit anything else with your feet. Or any other extremity, for that matter. Try not to drag your feet, if you can help it----”

A searing pain seemed to hit the Doctor right between the eyes. “NYAAAAAGGHHHHHHH!” Almost instantly, he fell to the pavement, writhing. “WHAT THE HELL?!

“The toxin is beginning to react.....up, if you can, we have to.....they can't help you, then I don't know what else we....DOCTOR!”

The Time Lord rose to his feet, uttered something without a consonant in it, then fell face-forward.

Silence. Darkness.

either I've bashed my brains out on the pavement, or I'm unconscious. Again.

except if I'm unconscious, I can't be thinking----what in the hell is even going on?! I've never blacked out like this before! Okay, just....just try to remember.....where was I before everything went pear-shaped? Also, for that matter, when and where did the expression “going pear-shaped” even come from---FOCUS!

From the darkness, a voice: “......where.....”

Okay, so I can still talk. At least, I think that was my voice. 99% sure. Now if I could-----

Something pierced the Doctor's arm, and something else went down his throat.

“---him down, otherwise he could aspirate....just make sure he drinks that first sip and doesn't choke on it!”

“You found the formula in his coat pocket, you said?”

“Put there by---wait a minute, he's awake! Hold him steady, keep the IV in his arm!”

Something overhead---a light, the sun or something in between---shone onto the Doctor with near-blinding intensity, just as he felt himself swallowing a liquid that tasted like tea made from the remnants of a shuttered apothecary. Something had been inserted into his left arm---the aforementioned IV, in all likelihood---and a quick glance around wherever he was now revealed his coat folded on the back of a chair nearby.

“....the HELL is this?!” he managed. “What did I just drink?!”

“....this is impossible! Those sedatives should've kept him under for---”

“Believe me, it's better if he's awake for this.” Someone approached the table (at least, it was more than likely a table) where the Doctor was secured. “.....Doctor?”

“.....pretty sure I still am, unless something's gone horribly wrong.” The Time Lord tried to chuckle, only to feel a sharp pain in his ribs. “....speaking of things going wrong,” he muttered, “care to, ah tell me what's going on at this exact moment in time?” He nodded to his left arm. “Also.....why is that in my arm, and even though I hate repeating a question---”

“The drink was a mixture that flushed several dozen toxins out of your bloodstream, and your stomach. I had to make a side-stop to find a priest just to bless the water---”

“Wait, wait, wait, what?!

“....you don't remember?”

“.....I remember....falling, hitting my head on something.....and laughing, some idiot was laughing---”

All at once, it came back to him: the dining chamber, the wine glass, the clockwork servants leaving the room.

And of course, the one responsible for his current state......

“Dracula.”

The woman leaned closer, but the light shining into the Doctor's eyes from overhead made it impossible to make out any distinct details. “His bite, coupled with you drinking his blood, nearly killed you---and I mean permanently. Your regenerative energies would've burnt out in an hour---”

“So why didn't they? Also, ah.....” The Doctor raised his right arm---which had been handcuffed to the table.

“A security measure,” a second voice explained. “You were unconscious, at first....then you started rambling, and thrashing every which way....could've injured yourself or one of the staff. You know, you're quite lucky we have personnel on hand trained to deal with an incapacitated Time Lord.”

“No need to rub it in, Brigadier....”

The Doctor couldn't tell whether to groan or laugh. “Saved from Dracula by the timely intervention of UNIT. I never thought I'd see the day...” He laid back on the table, shaking his head. “If I had to hazard a guess as to where I am, I'd say...UNIT Field Surgery, within reasonable distance of Whitby---”

“In Whitby, Doctor. Mandatory, following that Dalek business.”

“Right, right....” The Doctor sighed. “And I kept hearing something about 'stabilizing'.....”

“Time Lord technology.” The woman was speaking, again. “From me, not UNIT. Without it....”

“You'd be studying a Time Lord corpse,” the Doctor finished. “....whoever you are, ma'am.....thank you.

Even though he couldn't see her face clearly, he could tell the woman was smiling. “All in a day's work.”

“Speaking of work,” Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart stated, “we've received word that one Chief Inspector Lauden has been doing some rather impressive legwork of his own on this case....while you were at Castle Dracula, Lauden had his people bring in a person of interest.” He accepted a manilla folder from a uniformed officer, going through the papers. “....a girl---tourist, at that. Thought to have been among those found dead in a rather horrid massacre in a flop house of some kind. Rather ghastly business.”

“....and nobody thought to ask where I was?” the Doctor groaned. “Seriously, why---”

“Oh, ye of little faith,” a familiar voice called out. “You must learn to be more trusting, Doctor.”

“I figured I'd call a priest you already knew,” the woman explained, “rather than finding one at random.”

The Doctor managed a chuckle. “How've things been going without me, Father Wyngarde?”

“We have a girl in custody who we believe might lead us directly to Dracula. There was talk of using the watch you gave Sergeant Tomlinson to locate your exact position, but none of us could figure out how it worked...your rescuer used it to recall your...TARDIS, I believe?”

“Used it to...recall.....” The Doctor's eyes widened. “But that means she's----”

He turned to glance at the woman, only to find that she was gone.

“How soon can you get these cuffs off of me, Brigadier?”

“I can remove them now, actually.” At once, the Brigadier set to work unlocking the cuffs. “Just don't remove the IV from your---DOCTOR! Where are you going, and why are you bringing the IV stand with you?!”

“I have to talk to her! That woman, the one who brought me here....” The Doctor managed to avoid tripping over the IV stand, even as he ran for the door. “I have to know....I need to know what she knows, how she got here, how she got me away from Dracula!” The Brigadier glanced at Father Wyngarde, who could only shrug. “He's recovered enough, I think....”

With a sigh, the Brigadier nodded. “Go, Doctor.....but try not to overexert---”

The door was already swinging closed behind the rapidly-retreating Time Lord.
----------------------
She has to still be here....she can't have left yet.....

Every step ached, but the Doctor didn't care. Something about this woman was---it was beyond just intriguing, now. She'd rescued him from Dracula and delivered him to UNIT---and then was going to simply disappear?

I have to know....who is she?!

By the time he reached the car park of the UNIT Field Surgery, the Doctor was sweating bullets and close to tears. He'd been running for what felt like an hour (it had only been five minutes), and even as the stabilizer (whatever that was) coursed through him, he still felt the effects of Dracula's blood in his system, and it still hurt......but he just had to know---

“Couldn't let me leave without saying goodbye?”

The Doctor nearly fell over as he turned; the woman, predictably, was standing in the darkest part of the car park. She was only visible in silhouette; no distinct details about her (or even her outfit) could be made out.

“.....who are you?” the Time Lord gasped.

“I'm surprised you haven't figured it out, yet....more than likely a final, rather nasty byproduct of the vampire blood working through you. A temporary nullification of the Time Lord psychic link....the stabilizer can only do so much to help you get back on your feet. I should've explained it sooner....” The woman sighed. “I really can't stay, Doctor. You have to understand....”

Slowly, a fog seemed to lift from the Doctor's mind. “.....you're....”

“Trying to stay as incognito as possible. The Time Lords of your reality have made it clear that you weren't to receive any help from them, and if they discovered my presence here....it wouldn't end well for either of us.”

“....I know. I just....you're leaving, now?”

“I have to. This reality has you....I've bent the rules rather sharply doing even this. Anything further, and your Time Lords will notice my presence here. I'm sorry that I couldn't do more---”

The Doctor actually laughed. “You've.....you've done more than enough, believe me....”

“Glad to see I've made such a positive impression.” Again, even in the darkness, it was obvious that the woman was smiling. “The fight against Dracula is yours to win, Doctor....from what you've done so far, I don't think you'll have any problems dealing with him.”

“Seeing as how he almost poisoned me, I find that a bit hard to believe....but thanks.”

“You're welcome....”

The Doctor chuckled. “Look at me, freaking out just from talking to.....well.....”

“To me. Considering you haven't even regenerated yet, it's understandable. But again, you're native to this reality, and I'm not---no Blinovitch Limitation Effect to worry about.”

“Fair enough. Thank you again for saving my life..”

“And thank you for keeping up the fight against Dracula, Doctor.” The woman turned away, opening a door behind her....and the familiar form of a British police box was illuminated from within. “I should be on my way now, before your Time Lords discover that I'm here....you have some rather intriguing friends on your side in this battle already, and they'll be more than enough help for you. Take care of yourself, Doctor!”

“You too....Doctor!”

The TARDIS before him departed, with the VWROP, VWROP filling the air for a minute. As often as he'd seen TARDISes come and go, landing or taking off, there was still some kind of undeniable thrill from it.

Knowing that the TARDIS he'd just watched was piloted by another Doctor did nothing to diminish that thrill.

Inside the Field Surgery office, Father Wyngarde and the Brigadier were waiting---one bemused, the other a bit annoyed. “Would you care to explain what, exactly, that was about, Doctor?”

“Exactly.” The Time Lord grinned. “I'm surprised she didn't tell you herself....”

“What do you....” The Brigadier stopped. “You mean she was.....she's.....”

“She's not from around here, put it that way.” The Doctor nodded. “In any case, I need to know everything that's happened since I decided to stay at Dracula's castle and nearly came down with a bad case of death.”

“Indeed....from the way you were running out here, though, I almost thought you....” The Brigadier's remark trailed off; the Doctor was staring at him in a way that suggested both amusement and annoyance. “....never mind. It was foolish of me to even think it.”

“You thought I was romantically attracted to a female version of myself from another reality?”

“.....was I that obvious?” the Brigadier muttered. “It was only a passing thought, mind you....never really---”

“Let's just pretend that neither of us brought it up, and we'll never speak of it again.” The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Anyway, back to the more pressing issue at hand...actually, before we get to that, how long do I have to keep lugging this stupid IV stand around?”

Five minutes later, the Doctor, Father Wyngarde and the Brigadier were in a conference room, going over the specifics of what had happened during the Doctor's “visit” to Castle Dracula. “...her uncle basically asked us to help find her, and from what I ended up hearing on the way here, they were able to take the girl into custody with only a minor incident to report.”

“How minor?”

“There were no deaths, Doctor. The two vampires you mentioned from the Xanadu showed surprising restraint when dealing with the police...more than likely, they had no desire to cause a 'scene'.”

“Makes sense. And the girl?”

“She's still at the police building, waiting to meet with her uncle. We were hoping you would be back for it—-”

“I will. I just need to make sure my TARDIS is secured, and then send it back before I go with you.” The Time Lord retrieved his fob watch. “Good thing she returned it to me after using it,” he mused. “I wonder if she had one of her own?”

Father Wyngarde gave a light cough. “Back to the matter at hand....”

“Right, right.” The Doctor sighed. “The girl is at the police station, and her uncle is on the way....has anything else happened?”

“.....there was a small incident involving clockwork constructs at St. Hilda's,” Father Wyngarde began, “but---”

“You smashed them to pieces.” The Doctor's reply wasn't angry...he sounded almost glad. “How many?”

“.....we were a bit too busy to try counting them all, Doctor....I do remember that one of them managed to get away. Sergeant Tomlinson was rather annoyed---”

“Wait, wait, wait—she was with you?”

“No, no, Miss Smith and Janos were. Sergeant Tomlinson was still at headquarters with Lauden---Miss Smith had called them on the phone....as soon as the clockwork constructs were mentioned, Sergeant Tomlinson apparently took the phone from Lauden and told us in no uncertain terms to destroy every construct we could, to not leave anything left of them.” Father Wyngarde paused for a moment; “Doctor,” he murmured, “you don't think that---”

“The droids---constructs, whatever they were....they were all destroyed before the girl was apprehended?”

“.....to my knowledge, yes. Apart from the one that got away---”

“Figured that.” The Doctor rested his chin in one hand. “I think I should be allowed to talk to the girl if the meeting with her uncle doesn't work out,” he informed Father Wyngarde. “If she has, in fact, been 'sired' by Dracula----that just means 'turned into a vampire', Brigadier....”

The Brigadier nodded. “I'm surprised you haven't commented on how old I must look, now....”

“I hadn't really noticed,” the Doctor replied, grinning. “Still following the RAF workout regimen?”

“To the letter. Not that many people around here have noticed....”

Again, Father Wyngarde gave a light cough.

“Right, right, the girl.....” The Doctor nodded. “What did Lauden and his team find out about her, and has she done anything or tried to do anything since being taken into custody?”

“There wasn't much to find out---she was on holiday with her uncle, fell in with an unseemly crowd while trying to find a pen pal or someone similar....and when the rest of that crowd was slaughtered, she was taken in by Dracula.” Father Wyngarde shook his head. “....a pity we weren't able to get to her first. The forces of evil have thrived for too long on lost souls, such as hers...”

The Doctor nodded in sympathy. “So how soon do you need me to reconnoiter with Lauden and the rest?”

“Intriguing use of the term, Doctor,” the Brigadier remarked. “And Father Wyngarde has already informed me of Lauden's wishes to not get UNIT involved....can't say I blame the poor fellow.”

“Agreed. The Sillurians were one thing, but this.....” The Doctor shook his head. “This is something else.”

“True.....but I don't think Lauden would have a problem with something as simple as....providing transport back to the police station. Sounds reasonable enough, don't you think?”

“As soon as I send the TARDIS back there....” The Doctor hesitated. “Ah, can I maybe remove the IV now?”

“Are you sure you can go without it?” Wyngarde asked. “From what I heard about your condition, before I arrived, you were significantly close to death.”

The Time Lord had already taken the needle out of his arm, and was gesturing for someone to bring him a gauze pad. “I feel a lot better now---probably a combination of that weird brew I had to drink, and whatever that stabilizer was....”

He nodded. “Yeah, I think I'm ready to get back into this. Shall we?”
-----------------------------------------------------
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 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:36 pm

If anyone at the police station had been worried by the Doctor's absence (for half an hour or longer, at that), they weren't showing it when he walked into the office Lauden had appropriated for his own use. Indeed, the prevailing emotion at the moment was frustration---most of it directed, rather surprisingly, at the girl who had been taken into custody earlier. Lauden barely even looked up from the files and folders on “his” desk to notice the Doctor's presence, giving the barest of curt nods to acknowledge him.

“.....bad time, Chief Inspector?”

“Not so much 'bad' as 'annoying',” Lauden replied, still poring over the files. “The girl hasn't said a word about why we found her with two persons of interest in an ongoing murder investigation....hasn't said anything since she arrived here, actually. We're still waiting on her uncle---”

“And was anyone waiting on me?”

Now, Lauden did look up. “Sergeant Tomlinson told us you were at Castle Dracula, and that---”

“I was poisoned. By Dracula himself.” The Doctor took a seat, his stare never leaving the Chief Inspector as he spoke. “I was tricked into drinking his blood, which was enough to paralyze me and put me into a state of mild anaphylactic shock, and then he bit me.” Lauden nearly rose from his seat, at that, but the Doctor didn't stop. “Unlike a run-of-the-mill human being, I'm not in any danger of becoming a vampire myself---because the baseline genetic makeup of a Time Lord makes me pretty much incompatible with everything that converts a human being into a vampire. Instead of 'turning' or 'siring' me, Dracula very nearly killed me.”

Lauden tried to maintain an illusion of mild disinterest, spoiled rather quickly by the fact that he was writing on the desk, rather than the file in front of him.

“I almost died in Castle Dracula, Lauden,” the Doctor reiterated. “Nobody knew how to reach me, or where the place even was, and the only reason I'm still here, and still alive......” He took a deep breath. “.....is that I got a very, very lucky break. Someone was able to get me out of there, to friendly territory....did anyone even notice how long I was gone?”

The muttered words from Lauden sounded faintly like “hour and a half”.

“.....an hour and a half. Ninety minutes....and nobody even---”

“Doctor,” Lauden breathed, “I want you to tell me---actually, no. We should go to the conference room first---”

“What are you talking about?!” the Doctor snapped. “I nearly died, Lauden, and---”

The Chief Inspector was out of his chair, now. “If we're going to do this, you're telling the whole group.”

“.....do this.....what?!”

Lauden made his way around the desk, placing both hands on the Doctor's shoulders.

“I want you to tell them---Emma, Danielle, Father Wyngarde and Sarah Jane---and myself every single thing that you know about vampires. And I mean everything. No stone unturned, no 'little details' left out.....”

The look in his eyes didn't match the calm in his voice. “....we need---we deserve the truth, Doctor.”

It suddenly occurred to the Time Lord that there was an undertone in Lauden's voice, one that was more than a bit frightening to hear from the Chief Inspector: helplessness. He'd been through enough, already, without the Doctor having admitted to nearly dying....

He knew. He knew I almost died, and he was scared out of his wits....

“Chief Inspector.....first of all, I should've done exactly that ages ago, when all of this started.” He sighed. “Get them all to the conference room---any officers you want to bring in for a briefing, call them, too. It's high time you all knew exactly what we're dealing with.” He turned away. “I'll wait for them all there---and, ah, if you're going to pull a tazer on me or anything stupid, to knock me out and throw me in a cell....”

Lauden's tone changed to one of utter confusion. “What?!

“.....sorry, it's just....” The Doctor chuckled. “I get paranoid, sometimes, that someone's about to do a really stupid double-cross on me or something. Bad habit, I need to get out of it...”

“Doctor,” Lauden replied, “I may have remarked, over the past day or two, that I could've had you arrested for some of the things you've done....but believe me when I tell you that this would be the absolute worst time to do anything of the sort. You're not 'in trouble', you already apologized for that whole slap across the head thing, and as for running to the Xanadu while my car was stuck in traffic---”

“I get it, I get it.....” The Doctor actually laughed, now. “....I guess I've been watching too much TV....”

“There's no law on the books that says I can arrest you for believing in bad television clichés, Doctor, so you're in the clear....whichever conference room you want to use, just go ahead---I'll meet you there shortly.”

“Fair enough.” The Doctor moved towards the door----but stopped. “....actually.....about what I just said---”

“You think Dracula has a mole in the department?”

The Doctor glanced at Lauden, noticing that the Chief Inspector didn't look like he was kidding. “....the thought had occurred to me,” he admitted. “Even before I saw the bellhop at the Xanadu staring at Sergeant Tomlinson and I, instead of watching the door, I figured the Count would try to get eyes and ears as far into Ealing---and, by proxy, into Whitby---as possible....especially given the method by which he 'got to' the bellhop....”

“None of our officers have gone on extended medical leave and 'come back wrong', if you're wondering---and the Chief Inspector here in Whitby can vouch for every man and woman in this building.”

“Good, good.....but what if it goes back further?” The Doctor strode back to the chair he'd been sitting in, taking his seat again. “The Ilhousen Clinic disappearances were happening before Dracula ever showed up here....and they didn't stop after he arrived. I don't think I need to spell it out for you, but....”

“You think he was calling the shots on the clinic before he ever reached Ealing?” Lauden finished.

“It's definitely a possibility. A disturbing one....but a possibility all the same.”

“Sarah Jane did mention 'Baron Lathos' tried opening clinics in the States before....if you're right, Doctor---”

“I'm hoping that I'm not, but it's better to be paranoid and wrong than naïve and dead.”

After a few seconds of silence, Lauden nodded. “I'll have someone cross-examine records of every officer on active duty before, during and after Dracula's arrival in Ealing. If any strange behavior or unusual incidents show up on any officer's file, you'll be the first to know.”

“It's a good start,” the Doctor replied. “You may also want to check their medical histories....just in case.”

Again, Lauden nodded. “I honestly and sincerely hope your hunch is proven wrong, Doctor....”

“So do I.” The Doctor rose from his seat. “See you in....one of the conference rooms, I guess....in a few.”

He headed for the nearest conference room, hoping that “Sharing with the class” would actually work....

Ten minutes later, Lauden---joined by Emma, Sarah Jane, Father Wyngarde, Janos Ruthven and half a dozen or so patrolmen (and women) the Doctor didn't know---all sat around the table in the conference room the Time Lord had chosen for his “lecture”. It was obvious from the looks on the faces of Emma, Danielle and Sarah Jane that news of the Doctor's near-death experience hadn't leaked before his return.

No surprises there. If any of them thought I was done for, they would've panicked.....

The Doctor dismissed the thought from his mind. “Right, since we're all here....it's time to tell you everything I personally know about vampires. And for clarity's sake, terms like das wampyr, nosferatu, strigoi, et. al., can and probably will be used interchangeably by everyone here to refer to what I'm going to be talking about...just try to keep up with the discussion, take notes if at all possible and please don't interrupt me until I'm finished talking. If nobody has any objections.....”

No hands were raised, and no complaints were issued.

“Good. Ah, one more thing, before we begin....everyone here is, in fact, aware that I, the Doctor, am not of this earth and am in fact an alien?”

The six officers the Doctor hadn't met before all glanced at each other, then slowly nodded.

“Good. Now, then...everything I know---soon to be everything you know---about vampires.”

“The beings you refer to as vampires---Count Vlad Tepes Dracula included---are among the offshoots, and in many cases, progeny, of a race known as the Great Vampires. 'Why were they called “Great”?', you're probably wondering. Well, that has a lot more to do with the fact that, unlike even the more common depictions of vampires in folklore and superstition, these beings were in fact monstrous. Humanoid, bipedal and standing well over two stories tall, or in some cases larger. My people, the Time Lords, went to war with the Great Vampires, ages before humanity would ever know of the concept. Contrary to all of the myths that you people have heard, the Great Vampires could pretty much only be killed in one very specific way: use of a Gallifreyan Bowship. It pretty much worked the same as a stake to the heart, with a 'normal' vampire, but in most cases, whoever flew the Bowship wasn't going to come back from it. As for what started the war with the Great Vampires.....well, that's a bit complicated. Some claim that Time Lords had 'appropriated' the ability to regenerate from the original vampires, who were allegedly passive beings that only fed on livestock. Others, mostly my own people, claim that the Great Vampires were seeking to expand their reach and conquer entire galaxies, ruling over them and their people like tyrants....”

The Doctor paused, making sure that everyone was still taking notes.

“.....and one theory, rarely acknowledged but still feared to be closest to the truth, is that the Great Vampires were only the symptom of a larger problem. The same problem that led to vampirism taking hold on worlds the Great Vampires themselves had never visited, and never could.” He took a deep breath, his thoughts nearly drifting back to his Academy days. “The Great Vampires, as it turns out, are but one of many offshoots of an even more dangerous race, one that the Time Lords thought was nothing but a myth.....”

He closed his eyes, dreading the name he was about to utter. “....a race known only as the Yssgaroth.”

Everyone who'd been taking notes stopped, as if they all felt the same, nearly tangible sensation of pure dread at the mention of that name. The air in the room seemed to chill ever so slightly; Emma pulled her jacket tighter around her shoulders, and even Janos shuddered.

“...recent research,” the Doctor continued, “has proved that the Yssgaroth aren't just connected to the Great Vampires. Turns out that their corruption, their poison, reaches beyond mere physical distances---beyond even reality itself.”

He steeled himself. “Every kind of vampirism in what you call the multiverse can be traced to the Yssgaroth.”

Before anyone could gasp in shock at this, he continued. “Varnae, a so-called vampire lord, is a particularly notable example. You may recall that name from Marvel Comics---well, hate to break it to you, but somewhere out in the endless infinity of the multiverse, Varnae exists. Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Those vampires are real, too----no idea what corner of the multiverse their reality is tucked away in, but it's there. Any movie, TV show or novel that put any kind of unique spin on the 'vampire mythos'----all connected to the Yssgaroth.”

He waited for someone, anyone to ask how he knew this.....but nobody spoke.

They were all too busy staring in open-mouthed shock.

“....terrifying, isn't it?” he murmured. “That so much horror, so much undiluted nightmare fuel, can be spawned from one race. Well, if it's any consolation, the Yssgaroth themselves---or possibly itself, since nobody has ever been able to figure out if Yssgaroth is, in fact, the word for one member of a race or the entire race---isn't known for getting directly involved in anything. On the subject of 'things nobody knows about the Yssgaroth', the method by which vampirism---in any of its forms and permutations---can spread across the multiverse is itself a mystery. Same with how so many strains of vampirism in what you people perceive to be fiction are different....any theories about metafiction and its relation to reality, or anything along those lines, should be saved for discussion on another day. Right now, we're here to talk about the vampires of this reality, which brings us back to the Great Vampires---and the main topic of today's lecture.”

“Vlad Tepes Dracula is real. The novel by Bram Stoker, so often considered the codifier of vampire fiction and a masterpiece of Gothic horror, was a 98% factual account of actual events. Why 98%? Because the 2% of the story that was pure fiction had to be invented on the spot to keep anyone from trying to find and resurrect Dracula after his defeat at the hands of the Harkers, Van Helsing, Arthur Holmwood and the late Quincy Morris---and yes, every character named in that book was, in fact, an actual person. Only a few names were changed, less for the protection of the innocent and more to dilute the story and make it read more like good fiction. The original ending of the novel was how the fight with Dracula actually ended. The 'short story', Dracula's Guest? A third-party account, linked to the main incident after the fact, and adapted by Stoker with the intent of being the opening chapter. Needless to say, certain parties intervened, to make sure that nobody ever knew the precise details of where Dracula's castle could be located or how to revive him....and for a while, it worked.”

Another pause; the shock of the earlier revelation had worn off, by now, and most were back to taking notes and going over everything they were hearing.

“Obviously, 'for a while, it worked' means that the measures taken to keep Dracula in the realm of fantasy and pop culture eventually stopped working---Father Wyngarde could probably tell you all more about that, but for the moment, let's just stick with 'Earth vampires' in general. First thing to clarify, right off the bat: Sunlight does not kill vampires. That's a myth---hell, it's not even an old myth. The first depiction of a vampire being killed by sunlight occurred in the silent movie Nosferatu, from the 20s. Depending on the age of the vampire in question, sunlight will do anything from cause blistering of the skin to something like a really bad hangover, but it won't make them spontaneously combust. Blame Hollywood for that. And for the record, Dracula himself is pretty much completely unaffected by sunlight.”

“Next up: Religious symbols. This has more to do with the Yssgaroth than vampires, really, but the use of a religious symbol---a crucifix, a Star of David, or anything through which a devout believer can 'focus' their belief enough---is basically more to do with---and I'm not kidding here---actual belief. As in, if you're a truly devout follower of your religion of choice, holding up a crucifix can, in fact, send weaker vampires running. Again, I have a feeling it won't do anything against Dracula other than annoy him.”

“Running water....that one's a bit complicated. There are bridges and stuff that go over water everywhere in the UK these days, including between Whitby and Ealing---vampires don't just stop in their tracks when they get to running water. Yet again, depending on the age, they may have to be at rest before they can cross, or they may only be able to go over if they're in a non-bipedal form---mist, bats, etc. I shouldn't have to mention it by now, but this probably has no bearing on Dracula himself....”

“Aconite, garlic, mustard seed and any other horticultural methods of dealing with vampires.....again, more to do with the Yssgaroth than folklore. Depending on factors like genetic makeup, ancestry, and a host of other factors in any given scenario, a lot of these 'folklore-ish' methods of warding off vampires will fall under the category of 'your mileage may vary'. This may have something to do with the Yssgaroth not having developed a tolerance for any of these things....and if any of them don't work, then they did build up a tolerance to it. I have a feeling it's a little more complicated than that, but we should probably move on....”

“Stake through the heart. This, pretty much, is a universal constant in the 'how do I kill a vampire?' equation, for the simple reason that impalement through the heart works against any living thing. To be fair, staking goes best when the impaled vampire also has its head cut off---again, because any living being tends to die rather quickly by way of removing the head and/or destroying the brain---but the decapitation method works best on vampires because just staking them isn't enough. If they're in a coffin, or wherever they rest, staking them will pin them down---but if the stake is removed, or if they're strong enough to rise up off of it, then there goes your advantage. All that business of 'dusting' vampires instantly.....that may work in some corners of the multiverse, but this isn't one of them. Probably.”

“Anything with silver nitrate, reflections and or mirrors---this includes recording equipment---is useless when it comes to capturing the image of a vampire. If you want to subscribe to the 'no reflection = no soul' theory, you're welcome to do so. Personally, I think it's yet another connection to the Yssgaroth and how beings corrupted by their influence lose what made them who and what they were before they were turned.....”

“As for developments unique to this particular case: Dracula has somehow, by means that I have yet to fully understand, obtained the assistance of advanced clockwork automatons that most here would probably refer to as 'droids'. These clockwork constructs have been given skin---actual human skin, at that---taken from many 'patients' of the Ilhousen Clinic---anyone here working on cases related to disappearances tied to the clinic probably won't be surprised to hear this. What will surprise you is the fact that some of these droids, newly 'clad' in the flesh of those unfortunate enough to have been taken in by the clinic, are among the populace at this moment---most of them are at the building you all believe to be a resort, owned by one Baron Lathos, which is in fact Castle Dracula; all droids at the castle are employed as servants, and will more than likely play that role when and if the 'resort' is allowed to open to the public. As for those out in the public, hiding in plain sight....if you see someone matching the description of a missing person from any of the Ilhousen cases, and they're acting....off....call for backup, and don't engage them on your own.”

“I'm probably forgetting a lot of stuff, but anyone who wants to check under their chairs will find manilla folders loaded with a printed version of this lecture, which includes a lot of the stuff I left out. Study everything in those folders, and every note you took during this lecture. Your life, more likely than not, may depend on it.”

As the Doctor took a seat, letting Father Wyngarde pick up where he left off, he felt a pang of guilt---more out of the fact that he'd probably vastly oversimplified or “watered down” most of his lecture than for any other reason. Everything he'd said was either off the cuff or transmitted from the TARDIS' database to the fob, which he used as a sort of teleprompter to make sure he didn't get sidetracked. Romana would probably find it all a bit gauche, he mused.....

…almost groaning out loud when he noticed an all-too familiar Time Lady staring at him from the doorway.

“Back in a few,” he quietly informed Lauden. “Bathroom break.” He managed to extricate himself from his seat and leave the room without disturbing anyone, heading for the nearest exit as soon as he was out of sight....

…and, once outside the building, he shook his head. “Funny how many times I've been told that I can't get any help on this little mission,” he mused, “only to be given cryptic advice and warnings every hour or so from someone who isn't supposed to be talking to me.....”

He chuckled at the thought. “Some of them, of course, have been more welcome than others....”

“And I take it I fall into the 'more welcome' category, then?”

Tall, thin, blonde and giving him a wary smile---the image of Romanadvoratrelundar (or simply Romana, the far less awkward version of her name) was almost exactly the same as she'd looked the last time the Doctor had seen her in person. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company this time?” he inquired.

“You do realize that I'm not really here, don't you?” Romana chided him. “On account of---”

“The Time Lords not wanting to get involved, I get it....better a psychic projection than a phone call.”

“Quite a sense of humor, Doctor,” Romana mused. “Especially for someone who's still recuperating from the effects of drinking Dracula's blood---and before you even ask, yes, the psychic link works even if I'm two solar systems away. Granted, I'm cheating a bit....”

“And you're not going to tell me how,” the Doctor finished. “I don't blame you. So why are you---”

“Dracula is going to accelerate his plans,” Romana stated, no longer smiling. “He won't be willing to wait for the full ten days to elapse---that debacle you went through in the castle---”

“You mean the bit where I nearly died?

Romana sighed. “Contrary to what you might think, I'm more than happy that you survived, Doctor...but that's exactly why Dracula is trying to speed things along. If I could help you, I would....” She turned away. “...I had to leave Gallifrey just to contact you, Doctor. Things are.....complicated.”

“I hate that word more and more every time I hear it....also, on an unrelated note: Dracula claims---”

“To have killed a Great Vampire.” Romana gestured at her head, smiling. “Cheating, remember?”

“You'll have to tell me how you're cheating, one of these days....”

“After this is all over, I might...” Romana sighed again. “The first time we worked together, I honestly couldn't tell what the Council saw in you.”

“There's a comforting thought,” the Doctor muttered.

“But you proved me wrong,” Romana reminded him. “I don't know exactly how you're going to defeat Dracula and put things to rights, Doctor...but I know that you can defeat him.”

“Even if I have to go it alone?”

“You've managed to do a decent job of it so far.....I doubt you'll have any problems now.”

“.....just 'decent'?”

Doctor.....” Romana's stern glare gave way to a smile. “I'd ask you to not disappoint me,” she continued, “but I think you can manage that without needing to be told.”

“.....I'll interpret that as a compliment.” The Doctor nodded. “Thanks for the talk, Romana.”

“Any time, Doctor.” Romana (or the projection of her) returned the nod, slowly fading into nothing as the Doctor watched. The fact that so many Time Lords were willing to try to contact him was....interesting, to say the least---and worrying. The Doctor's status as a “renegade” was something of a running joke among the Time Lords---he wasn't officially a lawbreaker in their eyes, and they “tolerated” his “little jaunts”....but this was different. This, whatever it was, felt far more sinister.

“.....sinister isn't a problem,” the Doctor muttered. “I just wish they'd tell me why none of them can help....”
-----------------------------------------------------
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 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:41 pm

“......he lives.”

Graaf and Lucia didn't dare look at Dracula when he uttered those words---both were still kneeling before him, having been summoned earlier. The hole left in the dining chamber wall was already patched up; the “help” were still cleaning up the aftermath of whatever it was that had happened in the room, and any other evidence of the Doctor's presence had been removed (and more than likely destroyed).

“It has been said,” the Count intoned, “that my arrogance knows no limits.....that more than any weapon, any holy relic, any 'slayer', my one true downfall would be hubris......”

“We will find him and destroy him, Master,” Graaf replied. “Just give the word.”

“His corpse will be brought before you within the hour, my lord,” Lucia added. “We need only---”

“This is not a task for acolytes,” Dracula countered. “Your loyalty, questionable though it may be, is still very much admirable....but it was I who gave the Doctor the formula that purged the poison from his veins---”

Now, Graaf and Lucia did stand. “....you gave him the antidote?!” Graaf snarled. “Why?!”

“.....it was meant to be the proverbial carrot,” Dracula calmly replied, “as opposed to the stick.”

Lucia rolled her eyes, but tried to keep a respectful tone. “With all due respect, my Lord, you had the Doctor at your mercy. Why would you try to---”

“He did not think,” the rasping, wizened voice of the Elder called out from the other side of the chamber. “Your so-called 'lord' and 'master' chose to act on instinct.....to toy with the Doctor, rather than simply killing him and relieving us of his burdensome presence.” The seemingly-frail vampire slowly crossed the room, his gaze fixed upon Dracula. “I told you before that letting me deal with him would be preferable---”

“You are too weak,” Dracula snapped. “Raising you once was far too costly....I will not restore you again!”

“Then you will fall to the Doctor,” the Elder spat. “Without my help, Vlad Tepes---”

My name is Dracula!

The rage in the Count's eyes sent a spasm of fear through both Graaf and Lucia; neither had ever seen him this angry before. “My name,” he repeated, “is Vlad Tepes Dracula. Do not invoke the name of who I was in an effort to bring me to heel, Elder....I brought you back from the grave, out of necessity and the barest level of respect. If all you can offer is vague advice and condescending remarks, I will put return you to the tomb from which you were taken...and I will ensure that NO ONE will raise you from the dead again!”

Graaf and Lucia watched, their gaze shifting from Dracula to the Elder......

…...and they stared in dumbstruck awe as the Elder laughed.

“Master,” Graaf intoned, “we could easily destroy him, if you gave the order---”

“You would do well to call me 'Master',” the Elder declared. “Following Vlad Tepes will only lead you back to the grave....under my rule, the pair of you would be---”

A feral growl escaped Dracula's lips---seconds before he lunged across the chamber to throttle the Elder.

Lucia took a step backwards, towards the nearest exit. “Graaf....we should leave---”

“Like Hell we're leaving,” Graaf spat. “Just say the word, Master, and I'll tear him apart!”

“DO IT!” the Elder screamed. “DESTROY THIS HEATHEN---”

“Not you.....” Graaf smirked. “I await your orders, Count---”

YOU FOOL!” The Elder tried to throw Dracula off of himself, shrieking all the while---but the Count struck him down with an axe-handle blow, sending him to the floor. “You have no power over them, Elder....just as you never had any power over me---”

“You forget,” the Elder rasped, “who gave you control of the constructs....those clockwork beings that have built the very castle around us! I could take control back, if I so desired! The 'hired help' you have wasted---”

“They respond only to my orders, Elder,” Dracula replied. “You have no power over anything here.”

“....then I will destroy the Doctor on my own. I have my ways.....the ways you are too weak to use!”

LEAVE.” The word was a command, plain and simple. “Leave this place, now, and DO NOT RETURN!

Scowling, the Elder turned away. “You have damned yourself, Vlad Tepes---and do not order me to call you anything else! I refuse to follow the commands of one such as yourself....a pathetic, insolent---”

Graaf and Lucia barely had time to blink before Dracula crossed the room---one second, he was standing near them; the next, his hands were wrapped around the Elder's throat, as he growled a single word: “Leave.” Had a mortal been caught in the Count's iron grip, they more than likely would've gone unconscious within seconds, either due to oxygen deprivation or from sheer fright.

The Elder, to his credit, merely stared at the Count in defiance....

…..and as the others watched, he melted into black smoke, slipping through Dracula's grasp and towards the nearest door.

“.....what now?” Lucia quietly asked. “Master, do we---”

“Following him will only drain our resources and waste more time. It is best, for the time being, if we leave the Elder to his own devices and his inevitable destruction.” Dracula crossed the dining chamber at a brisk pace, never looking behind him as he addressed Lucia and Graaf. “His decision has sealed his fate....just as the next decision either of you make will seal yours.”

“We would never abandon you, my Lord,” Graaf intoned, dropping to one knee. “We serve your every---”

“There is a difference between a loyal follower and a sycophant, Graaf. See to it that you do not cross that line when speaking to me.”

A low growl left Graaf's lips, but he nodded. “Of course, Master.”

“And you, Lucia?”

“I would sooner die than betray you, my Lord.”

The thinnest of smiles crossed Dracula's lips, unseen by his acolytes. “A wise decision, from both of you.” He turned, regarding the pair with his imperious gaze. “I think a change of tack is in order, now that the Elder has revealed his endgame....the two of you will follow him, to ensure that he does not ruin our own plans for the sake of whatever misguided objectives he may have. Above all else, make sure that if he should run across the Doctor, any attempt of his to kill him ends in absolute failure.”

“Of course, my Lord.” Lucia nodded, with Graaf following her lead.

With a gesture, Dracula bade them farewell. “Go. Find the Elder, and keep him from interfering...and should he attack the Doctor, ensure that such a futile gesture will be the last mistake he ever makes.”

Graaf nodded, sprinting for the door and seeming to phase through it as a mist.

Lucia rolled her eyes at the sight, but nodded all the same, folding her arms across her chest and seeming to vanish into black smoke......

…only for a bat, with faint coloration on the wings matching the markings on Lucia's jacket, to depart from the miasma and head towards the other end of the room, through a door that a clockwork servant had just opened for some reason or another.

The Count watched them both leave, scowling all the while. Of course the Elder had to lose his last, tenuous grip on reality just as things were coming together! It had been a decade or so since the expedition to find his tomb, and raise him from the dreamless slumber of the grave.....and this was the way in which the Elder showed his thanks.

“An inconvenient betrayal,” the Count intoned, “but not unexpected.....”

A whirring and clicking next to him cut into his thoughts---the clockwork servant that had opened the door (and unwittingly allowed Lucia to pull off her dramatic exit) was standing next to him. Dracula hadn't been at the clinic when the skin for this particular construct was harvested, but he couldn't help but admire the almost ethereal beauty of the thing. It was a strange fact, with these constructs---the males always looked a bit “off”, with skin sagging or missing in spots, and a penchant for having hands that detached to reveal weapons. The females, on the other hand, looked considerably more lifelike---at least, until blades came out of their wrists, or their hands split open. Granted, both genders had the same problems with movement---stilted, mechanical and lifeless---and only one construct had the benefit of internal sound dampners, to mute that incessant clicking and whirring....

“....any. Assistance?”

“Hmm?” Dracula frowned, glancing at the construct. “What did you just say?”

“Do. You. Require. Any. Assistance?”

The Count nearly frowned---that staccato, halting speech was another “quirk” of these constructs---but chose to merely shake his head. “I was merely.....thinking. Planning, even.....looking forward to my eventual, final victory over the human race.”

Slowly, in almost insect-like jerks and halting movements, the clockwork maid nodded. “Very. Good. Sir.”

“Indeed.....” A smile formed on Dracula's lips. “Be sure to keep the doors unlocked and ready for Graaf and Lucia...I have a feeling they will be returning soon.”

“As. You. Wish. Sir.” The maid bowed, her internal mechanisms whirring in an almost-melodic fashion.

With the servant making her way out of the room, Dracula turned his attention to the door that the Elder had passed under. His brief scuffle with the older vampire had been, of course, a waste of time---had he made any attempt to use the full extent of his power, the Elder would've been torn limb from limb. Had it been Graaf, instead of the Count, the dining chamber would've been, in the modern parlance, “wrecked”---Dracula had avoided throwing a chair at the Elder (or unleashing his full power upon the other vampire) for that exact reason. There was a time and a place for such a vulgar display of power, and a pointless fight with a senile vampire wasn't it.

“He will try,” Dracula muttered, “and he will fail. The Doctor's death will come at MY hand......”
-----------------------------------------------------
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 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:53 pm

“....so everything you said in that lecture was....true?”

Sarah Jane's question earned her a frown from the Doctor. “You think I would make any of that stuff up off the top of my head?”

“It's not that, it's just.....why would aliens be weak against religious symbols?”

The Doctor chuckled. “Chalk that up to a mild paradox. There are realities out there where the Yssgaroth's corruption has yet to take root---in those places, vampires are nothing but myth and legend. Common vampire weaknesses from folklore were passed down through the centuries, and in turn, the Yssgaroth were more than likely compelled, somehow, to adapt those 'templates' to vampires in any reality they infested. As for how those became the sources of myth and legend....sometimes, usually by way of luring in travelers from other worlds, vampires find a way to travel through time and space. They go back into the past, the locals have to figure out how to kill them.....and the information is then taken down as fact. Time passes, facts get distorted and it becomes legend.....”

“So you're saying there may be vampires traveling through time, now?” Sarah Jane inquired.

“Not anymore.” The Doctor's grin faded. “When I mentioned my people, the Time Lords, going to war with the Great Vampires, I wasn't exaggerating. The Great Vampires were trying to sire hundreds, probably thousands of vampires, just to send them away on voyages through space so they could find and take over worlds of their own. A Time Lord taken hostage by vampires had three choices: Escape in their TARDIS, kill every vampire in the room....”

“What was the third choice?”

“......get bitten.” The Doctor was staring at the floor. “Time Lords, you see, don't react to a vampire bite in the same way that humans do. Genetic incompatabilities. What would turn a normal human being into a vampire does something.....different.....in Time Lords......”

His voice dropped to a whisper. “.....without help, I'd die.”

Sarah Jane's eyes widened. “You were bitten?!”

“....gave it away with a Freudian slip,” the Doctor muttered, shaking his head. “I meant to say 'without help, they would die'.....but yes, I did get bitten by Dracula. Thankfully, I had a bit of help getting out of there and stabilized to the point where the toxins wouldn't kill me....probably shaved a decade or two off of my overall long-term life expectancy, but I'd rather lose ten years then die from a vampire bite....which reminds me. Did anyone here even notice I was gone for so long?”

“We didn't know where to start looking for you,” Sarah Jane admitted. “Danielle tried to find the roads that led to the castle, but she couldn't just keep driving straight, like she'd done before—her cruiser nearly went into the water! Then she got called out to go look for that girl, the one they have in custody now....”

The Doctor nodded. “So there was an actual effort to find me, before other events took precedence.”

“Pretty much. But why didn't you---”

“Lauden already knows, as does Father Wyngarde. I'd prefer it if very few people from our little hunting party found out that I was nearly vampire chow, seeing as how panic is a very, very ugly thing to deal with in times like these.”

“Right, right. So.....what now?”

“Now.....I think it's time I see this girl everyone has mentioned.”

Three minutes later, the Doctor, Sarah Jane and Emma were on the other side of a two-way mirror---the kind seen so often in cop shows when “perp sweating” is used to coerce a member of the criminal classes into giving a detailed confession.

“Is it true that they can see through one of these if a light hits it just the right way?” Emma quietly asked.

“I'm hoping we won't have to find out for ourselves,” the Doctor quietly replied. “Also, why was---”

“That cell with a drop cloth over the bars was where they'd put that obnoxious Lindsay girl....she'd gotten hold of a hand gong somehow.” Sarah Jane rolled her eyes at the thought. “They brought her in at the same time as the girl in there, except Lindsay was far more disruptive---kept chanting 'lee hoy fung ro chock' or some stupid faux-Asian thing like it, banging on the hand gong all the while.”

“Yeah, until Janos took it from her and broke it in half!” Emma beamed.

“So why the drop-cloth, then?”

Emma's grin vanished, and Sarah Jane made a face. “.....believe me, Doctor, you don't want to know.”

“.....I'll take your word for it.”

Just as the Doctor finished talking, the door into the interrogation room (even if it wasn't being used as such for that purpose at the moment, the Doctor couldn't help but call it what it was) opened to reveal a middle-aged man, his clothing dissheveled and his hair unkempt. At the sight of the girl, he nearly wept.

“Her uncle, I assume?”

Sarah Jane nodded. “The same. They haven't told him about what happened to her.”

“.....let's hope he doesn't find out---wait, what is he doing?!” The Doctor leaned closer to the glass. “He's got a....oh, by the ROD, who gave him a necklace with a cross on it?!”

“She'd left it behind at the flop house,” Sarah Jane replied---realizing what was about to happen. “Doctor---”

The Time Lord was already out of his chair---and out of the room.

On the other side of the glass, the girl's uncle---who hadn't yet brought the cross into view, and was holding it in one hand---was asking the girl what had happened to her; every answer she gave was vague, but otherwise positive. The uncle seemed more glad that she was unharmed than anything else; at times, he broke down in relieved laughter, assuring the girl that everything would be fine. For the most part, the conversation was perfectly normal....

….until he offered to return her most cherished possession to her, and revealed the necklace with the cross.

The girl's expression, formerly bored and with a faint smile on her lips, changed to one of sheer panic. Her uncle apparently didn't catch the hint---he extended his hand, offering to let her take the necklace back.

From outside the room, the Doctor could be heard yelling “---DOWN, PUT IT DOWN, YOU IDIOT!”

It was obvious, now, that the girl wanted to be as far away from the cross as possible---yet there was a look in her eyes that suggested she did want the thing back. Her uncle, somewhat confused, moved to the other side of the table, asking the girl if she trusted him. She managed to nod, and laid a trembling hand---palm up---on the table's surface.....

Her uncle gently pressed the necklace---cross-first---into her hand---which immediately began to smoke.

Several things happened at that moment: the door to the interrogation room flew off its hinges, followed swiftly by the Doctor nearly falling on his face. The girl, still holding the cross, was shrieking in pain; her uncle could only stare in wide-eyed shock at the sight before him.

“Dear God,” Sarah Jane whispered. Emma had buried her face in her elbow, not daring to watch.

On the other side of the glass, the uncle was panicking. The Doctor, meanwhile, was gesturing at the cross, still smoking in the girl's hand, and angrily telling him to grab the thing away from her. The uncle was trying to explain that it was a treasured possession of the girl---who was now crying, in addition to screaming---but the Doctor whipped it out of her hand anyway, only to shout in pain---the fabric around the cross had burned away, revealing that it had been wrapped around an actual crucifix.

“Was it like that the entire time?” Sarah Jane quietly asked. “A wrapped crucifix---”

“It was.”

Father Wyngarde's entrance into the room had gone unnoticed by Sarah Jane and Emma, but neither of them reacted. “She may have loved that item once,” he murmured, “especially if it had been given to her by a loved one.....sadly, love can do nothing to overpower the curse of a vampire's bite.”

Sarah Jane nodded. “....I, ah, turned off the sound recording equipment....do you want me to---”

“I don't think it will be necessary.” Father Wyngarde nodded at the window; in the interrogation room, the girl (cowering in a corner, barely able to look at the crucifix on the table) was still crying. The Doctor was very obviously shouting (loud enough, in fact, that the soundproofing barely held up) at the uncle, gesturing to the girl's neck and making a “fangs” gesture. Sarah Jane and Father Wyngarde both saw him clearly mouth “SHE WAS BITTEN!” (and heard him yell it, as well), and pointing at the crucifix on the table. The uncle, very obviously flustered, could only ask “bitten by what?”, as observed via lip-reading....

…though no such analysis was necessary to hear the Doctor scream “BY A VAMPIRE!”

Lauden, Danielle and two of the six officers who'd attended the Doctor's lecture entered the room (with more than a bit of muttering about replacing the door, courtesy of Lauden) and tried to keep the Time Lord from flipping over the table. The uncle nodded, and almost tried to console his niece, but the Doctor stopped him, gesturing furiously that he take off every ring he had on. Lauden looked more than a bit confused, until the Doctor yelled “CROSSES!” and gestured to the rings.

“His zeal must be admired,” Father Wyngarde admitted, “even if he's getting a bit....carried away....”

“Even rings can be dangerous?!” Sarah Jane gasped. “Just rings with plain crosses on them?”

“If one's belief is strong enough, even the most simplistic cross can turn away a newly-sired vampire. I take it you've seen, in films, when someone holds up candlesticks or some other object in the shape of a cross?”

“.....a few times,” Sarah Jane replied. “Even that works?”

“Against a newly-sired vampire, yes. The older a vampire gets, in terms of centuries or decades, they begin to develop immunities against more simplistic symbols---only a proper crucifix, for instance, will have any kind of effect against them.” The priest glanced at the still-sobbing girl in the other room. “She will need to be confined, now,” he muttered. “Even family members aren't safe, the first few days after a siring.”

Sarah Jane nearly said something, only to realize the girl was holding her wrists up. “She's letting them restrain her!”

“She already knows,” Wyngarde replied. “Right after the crucifix burned her....”

As the trembling uncle and the sobbing, handcuffed girl were escorted from the room, followed by the Doctor (still shaking off the pain in his hand), Danielle and the other six officers. Lauden glanced at the window and nodded, as if to say “you lot, with them”.

“I think that's our cue,” Father Wyngarde stated. “Miss Smith, Emma....”

He frowned; Emma was dry-heaving in the far corner of the room.

“Don't tell me you were bitten,” Sarah Jane began, but Emma shook her head. “....the....crucifix,” she croaked, “it.....burned....into her hand!

Father Wyngarde muttered a prayer under his breath, making a quick sign of the cross in the air.

“It burned its image into her palm?! She's.....she couldn't have been bitten more than a day or two ago!”

“The passage of time does little to stop the spread of evil,” Father Wyngarde replied. “The poor girl must either be cleansed, or.....” He turned away.

“You're actually saying we....kill her?” Sarah Jane whispered.

“Every second she walks this earth as a vampire, she slips further and further into Dracula's grip, and her soul edges closer to an eternity of damnation. Only by the destruction of her mortal form will her soul know the joy of eternal peace in the Kingdom of God.” Father Wyngarde sighed. “....someone will have to tell her uncle, of course....her parents will need to be called, as well---”

“And you think he'll just let you, well....” Sarah Jane couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence.

“Miss Smith,” Father Wyngarde intoned, “if all else fails, he may be forced to end her life by his own hands.”

Sarah Jane was too horrified to respond; Emma was still dry-heaving in the corner.

“If either of you want to follow me to meet up with the Doctor....” Father Wyngarde let the words trail off as he turned away. “I'll just go on ahead, then.” Without another word, he left the pair, leaving the door open behind him on the way out of the room.

“Emma, we should probably go,” Sarah Jane muttered. “We should....we should follow Wyngarde....”

Emma nodded silently, tears still streaming down her cheeks.

The pair made a few wrong turns trying to find the Doctor and Father Wyngarde (though the ominous mood was lessened ever-so-slightly by a chance sighting of Janos getting annoyed at a vending machine). After a few minutes of wandering, Sarah Jane and Emma eventually found a half-opened door, beyond which the Doctor could be heard very loudly explaining what had happened to the girl and why handing her a crucifix wrapped in black cloth was, in his words, “the dumbest of dumb ideas”.

Steeling herself with a deep breath, Sarah Jane pushed the door open.

“...could've killed her!” The Time Lord was glaring at the uncle, waving around the now-blackened crucifix in one hand. And how did she even get away from you in the first place?!”

“....she told me she was calling an Uber,” the uncle admitted. “I thought---”

“SHE LEFT THE HOTEL AT NIGHT,” the Doctor thundered. “WITHOUT HER PHONE!”

Sarah Jane mentally cursed herself for having searched the details of the girl's disappearance earlier.

“I would like to volunteer my services,” Father Wyngarde offered, “to at the very least attempt to save her. We could.....” He noticed Sarah Jane and Emma standing in the doorway; the Doctor nearly said something, only to turn and spot the pair himself. “Give me a sec....” He crossed the room; Sarah Jane reflexively backed out into the corridor. “Doctor, I can explain---”

“Father Wyngarde asked you to follow him, and you did. Not much to explain, there...”

“Well, yes, but---”

“You two might want to stay out here in the hallway for this part....” The Doctor's voice had gone quiet. “I just have a really bad feeling about this....he's going to do either the Last Rites or the Annointing of the Sick.”

“And?!”

“You saw what the crucifix did to her hand....if things go south, I don't want either of you two getting hurt.”

It was Emma who replied, this time: “We're not children, Doctor. We know what we're dealing with.”

“....I know.” There was a sadness in the Doctor's voice. “And that's why you need to stay out here---”

“Bollocks! We can handle---”

“It's not about whether or not you can handle it. If something goes wrong.....” The Time Lord sighed. “Just...I'll close the door, and you two can listen from out here. If you hear anyone shouting or stuff getting thrown around the room, go get Janos and as many officers as you can---tell them to load up on Mace and tear gas first. If you hear me screaming...” He hesitated, then shook his head. “Hopefully, it won't come to that.”

Without another word, he closed the door.

“....well, now I'm positively terrified,” Emma muttered. “What are they even---”

Sarah Jane gestured for her to be quiet; inside the room, Father Wyngarde was speaking. “Last Rites,” she whispered. “They're actually doing it.....”

Seconds later, the bitten girl was groaning, as if something were causing her great pain.

“Remember what the Doctor said,” Sarah Jane murmured. “Only if anyone starts screaming---”

Something hit the door from the other side and shattered, splintering instantly. Lauden half-shouted “Hold her down!”, and the Doctor was rattling off statistics and other things, sounding both awed and horrified. Father Wyngarde, meanwhile, never slowed down or stuttered even once.

“They're actually doing it,” Sarah Jane gasped. “They're going to---”

The bitten girl cried out, and Lauden repeated the “HOLD HER DOWN!” order. Father Wyngarde raised his voice ever-so-slightly, and the Doctor was telling someone to “stand at the ready, just in case. Whoever he was talking to tried to ask “in case what?”, only for the girl to scream again---followed by the unmistakable sound of a window shattering.

“DO NOT LET GO OF THE GIRL!” Lauden shouted. “KEEP HER RESTRAINED AT ALL---”

“HE'S GOT A GUN! GET IT AWAY FROM HIM, DON'T LET HIM POINT IT AT HER!” The Doctor's screaming was cut off by the sounds of a struggle, the continued prayers of Father Wyngarde----and a single gunshot.

Sarah Jane stared, horror-struck, at the bullet hole in the door, a mere three inches away from her head.

“---CUFF HIM NOW! How he got a weapon in here is beyond me...you two, drop whatever you've got on your belts now, and it'll save us trouble later.” The Doctor's order was rather quickly followed up by the sounds of various objects being placed (or dropped) on the floor. “Now get him up, and---he's swallowing his tongue, HE'S ABOUT TO SWALLOW HIS TONGUE! Get me a belt, quick....”

Emma staggered away from the door, nearly dry-heaving again; Sarah Jane just closed her eyes, trying not to think about the horrors on the other side of the door.....

“They will not win.”

Sarah Jane's eyes shot open, and she nearly screamed.

Standing before her in the hallway was a tall, black-clad figure with iron-grey hair, piercing eyes and a cruel smile on his lips. “In the end, all their efforts will be for naught. Nothing they do will stop me....”

Emma.....” Sarah Jane tried to crawl away, backwards.

“Even you will be among those who either serve me, or perish. The choice is yours, Sarah Jane Smith---”

“EMMA!”

“I offer you salvation at my side. Leave these worthless fools and their pathetic methods, and serve me....be my scribe, my historian, and I will reward you with the knowledge of aeons, eternal beauty....freedom from this pathetic state of existence you call 'life'. All I ask is that you forsake the Doctor and his pathetic attempts to halt my progress.....”

EMMA!

A fog seemed to manifest in the corridor. “She will be missed, of course. All who fall before me shall, one day, be mourned..but you can join me. Leave this place, and these wretched mortals, behind.....”

Somewhere, in the distance, a wolf howled.

“Listen to them.....the children of the night......what music they make......”

Sarah Jane closed her eyes again. “You're not here....this is....psychic, or something, you're not in the building right now.....this isn't happening.....”

A hand on her shoulder sent a chill down her spine. “No....”

The voice that replied, however, was far more welcome: “He's gone, Miss Smith. You're safe.”

Tentatively, Sarah Jane opened her eyes to find Janos Ruthven kneeling by her side. “He offered you eternity, didn't he? Wisdom, beauty, freedom....”

Sarah Jane nodded silently.

“He made me the same offer, ages ago.....I turned him down. He made it his mission to ruin my life from then on....” Janos gave a reassuring smile. “I'll do the best I can to ensure he doesn't try that with you.”

“....thank you.” Sarah Jane nodded. “What about Emma---”

“If she saw anything similar, she more than likely fainted. Right now---”

Something heavy splintered on the other side of the door, followed by the Doctor screaming.

“Stay here, and do not try to intervene...” With one last look at Sarah Jane, Janos threw open the door---and was nearly clocked across the head by a flying chair leg.

“KEEP HER IN THAT SPOT!” the Doctor shouted. “IF SHE GETS ANYWHERE NEAR THE WINDOW---”

“I've got her, Doctor....what happened---”

“LESS TALKING, MORE HOLDING HER DOWN!

Sarah Jane wanted, more than anything, to glance into the room, to get even the slightest glimpse of what was happening inside....but Janos' words---”do not try to intervene”---rang in her ears. Even as the chaos in the room increased in volume and scope, she stayed in the corridor, hugging her knees...and vowing to write down or otherwise record her account of what she was hearing at some point later on.

Breaking a hotel room was one thing, she realized. This, though.....this is something else.....

“DROP IT! DROP THE CHAIR, AND SIT DOWN! JUST PUT IT DOWN, BEFORE---”

“She's fading fast, Doctor...either he's losing his hold on her, or—-”

DO NOT LET GO! JUST KEEP HER THERE AND---PUT IT DOWN! JUST PUT THE CHAIR DOWN---”

“Wyngarde isn't going to make it, Doctor....he's about to pass out---”

I SAID PUT IT DOWN, BEFORE YOU....oh, THE HELL WITH IT!”

A struggle erupted near the doorway, lasting for a few seconds before a chair was hurled into the corridor and broke against the wall. Seconds later, the door slammed shut.....only for the Doctor---grappling with Chief Inspector Lauden---to crash through it. “LET...GO...OF MY NECK.....”

Inside the room, the bitten girl gave one final cry.....and then all was silent.

Almost instantly, Lauden stopped thrashing and trying to strangle the Doctor. “.....I....what the HELL----”

“Lauden,” the Doctor intoned, “answer this question honestly, right now: do you want to kill me?”

“......what?!

“I'll take that as a no, then.” The Doctor rose to his feet, helping Lauden up. “Congratulations for surviving a psychic attack from Count Dracula, Chief Inspector.”

“.....WHAT?!

“Not so loud, you'll---oh, Sarah Jane, there you are. Sorry about closing the door in your face, earlier....”

“.....not a problem, Doctor. Ah.....you've got a bit of....red.....” She gestured at her own face, near her nose.

“.....I'll wash it off later. Right now....” He glanced at Emma, frowning. “What happened to her?”

“Passed out.”

“Ah. Right. Probably safe for you to enter the room, now....” Not waiting for her to take him up on the offer, the Time Lord re-entered the room.

Sarah Jane shook her head, silently hoping nobody had been torn in half or had their head exploded....

Any relief that no vivisections or cranial combustion had occurred was short-lived; nearly every bit of furniture in the room had been destroyed, and the lights had been shattered. One officer (probably the one who'd fired a shot through the door) was on the floor, muttering the Lord's Prayer under his breath; another was clutching her wrist, trying to rise to her feet without bracing herself against the wall. The girl's uncle was shivering in the far corner of the room, crossing himself repeatedly and whispering prayers. Father Wyngarde was being helped to his feet by Janos Ruthven.....

….and the bitten girl merely looked asleep, for the time being.

“It didn't work,” the Doctor stated. “She's dormant, for now....we weren't able to pull off Wyngarde's plan and save her. She's just....dormant.”

“Right, right....Doctor---”

“It's not safe to stay here past today. Before the sun sets, we need to get out of here---”

“Doctor, I saw him.”

The Time Lord turned, frowning. “What?”

“I saw Dracula, in the hallway.....he was...offering me knowledge, eternal beauty, freedom....”

“You turned him down?”

“I....I just closed my eyes and tried to ignore him, until Janos showed up.” Sarah Jane looked away. “Emma might've seen him too, but....she passed out....”

The Doctor gently turned Sarah Jane's face towards his own. “Sarah Jane....”

A brief chuckle left his lips. “....you did something incredible.”

“By being too scared to speak?”

“By facing down Dracula and not instantly submitting to his will,” Janos replied, striding up to the journalist and the Time Lord. “Few in your position would have been able to resist the lure of easily-obtained power.”

“And what about the lure of being reduced to a screaming feral wreck that tries to strangle the first person in your line of sight?” Lauden muttered. “Doctor, for the record.....whatever I was trying to do to you a few minutes ago, I---”

The Time Lord held up a hand. “No human being in that room could've resisted, Chief Inspector.”

“....I can only assume we're going to follow the usual 'never speak of this again' protocol, then?”

“To the letter.” The Doctor nodded. “Anyway....” He turned his attention back to the motionless girl. “Dracula's hold on her is....insanely powerful, if I'm honest. Father Wyngarde was of the mindset that the Last Rites would be enough to dispell Dracula's influence from her....and instead---”

“He put the whammy on nearly everyone here,” Lauden finished. “As you would say.”

“Indeed. And the really scary thing is, that was just him showing off.”

A vein in Lauden's neck twitched. “......showing off?”

“He's toying with us---the whole 'cat and mouse' schtick. He wants us to panic right now.”

Sarah Jane nearly said something when she glanced at Lauden, mainly because the Chief Inspector looked positively furious. “You're telling me that Count Dracula is treating the psychic attacks on my officers---on ME---like a game?!

“One that he's had centuries of practice at. He's saving his efforts, his real strength, for the grand opening---”

THIS IS NOT A GAME TO ME, DOCTOR!” Lauden grabbed the Time Lord by the lapels. “People have died, officers under my command have come under mind control---I myself have fallen victim to mind control, as well, and---”

“I said Dracula is treating this like a game,” the Doctor calmly replied. “I'm not.

For a few seconds, Lauden---still gripping the Time Lord's lapels---said nothing....

“Those girls who were killed at the service station shouldn't have died. Not a single person who voluntarily went into the Ilhousen Clinic seeking treatment should have died. The girl in this room should never have been bitten....none of this should've happened the way it did, but it has happened.” Gently, the Doctor took Lauden's hands in his own, and moved them away from his lapels. “I'm here to keep it from getting any worse, and to stop what could happen from ever happening.....”

Something in his voice, in his expression, seemed to change, as if he'd aged a few decades in the span of a few seconds: “....because I'm the Doctor. I never hurt.....I heal.”

The rage in Lauden's eyes vanished. “.....I....Doctor, I'm.....I'm sorry. I was just.....”

“Angry. At Dracula, at this entire situation....possibly even at me, even if only a little bit---”

Not at you, Doctor....at myself. I...I've been treating this whole thing like a bog-standard criminal case, like it's just some fool who's gone and nicked all the money out of the till from one of the shops....but it isn't. This is so far beyond standard....vampires, and clockwork robots wearing skin, and jiang-shi, and....all of this.....”

He staggered away from the Doctor, nearly collapsing against a wall in the corridor, and wept.

“This is what he wanted,” Janos intoned. “Dracula thrives on sowing discord and breaking the spirit of 'lesser beings'. He's not going to stop, now..”

“I know.” The Doctor nodded. “This whole 'bend them until they break' mentality....I hate it.”

“And he embraces it. If he attacks again---”

'He won't. We'll take the fight to him.”

“....you're honestly suggesting we attack Dracula so soon after this?” Janos quietly asked.

“Exactly. We attack him---as in, the two of us. Just us. Dracula is expecting the full force of the Metropolitan Police Department to be on him, after something like this....if it's just us, going after him, he'd never see it coming.” The Doctor glanced out into the hallway, where Father Wyngarde was offering words of comfort to Lauden; “It would also give the most affected of our little hunting party a chance to recover,” he added, “which they desperately need right now.”

“.....you make a good point, Doctor. And if Lauden asks where we've gone?”

“I'll leave a note. Hopefully, he won't get too mad....” The Time Lord nodded towards the door. “Shall we?”

“I suppose we shall.” Janos returned the nod. “I need to get a few things, first....”
-----------------------------------------------------
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 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:22 pm

He waited.

Somewhere, in Whitby, this....Doctor, whoever or whatever he was, had just faced a psychic assault from the Count, and emerged unscathed. He could sense it. The Count, vainglorious fool that he was, never did learn that showing off would be the end of him.

He would learn, soon enough. All of them would.

From the shadows, in a building long ignored and abandoned by the people of Whitby, the vampire known only as the Elder waited. To him, the Count had done the unforgivable---the Doctor should've been dead by now, with the final pieces of the “grand plan” in place. Instead, a jiang-shi (a waste of resources as it was) had been destroyed, needless civilian deaths had occurred, and the girl the Count had sired was now in police custory.

Worse, the Count's hold on the girl was fading.

“Fools. All of them, fools......”

He would be the one to bring this farce to its logical end. The Doctor had survived this long only because of the Count's stupidity and sheer, dumb luck.....but his luck would run out soon enough.

If all went according to plan, the child of Gallifrey would be dead by daylight, followed shortly by his friends.

“Soon,” the Elder muttered, “we will see who deserves to be crowned King of the Vampires...very soon....”

With a grim smile, he retreated into the darkness. Soon, all would be set right....
----------------------
“....forgive me if this sounds kind of stupid, but.....you've adapted to life in the modern age very well. I mean, most noblemen from your time probably wouldn't even know what a car was, let alone be able to drive one...”

The Doctor's comment brought a smile to Janos Ruthven's lips. “You can thank Father Wyngarde for that. I had never seen a car before I met him...and with the monastery gone, I had to live somewhere that wasn't a complete ruin.” He guided the borrowed police cruiser effortlessly around a curve in the road. “Some things took a bit longer to get used to than others....telephones, for instance.”

“You'd be surprised how many life-forms have problems with those,” the Doctor mused, stopping only when he noticed Janos' frown. “....something on your mind?”

“The girl, back at the police building. I felt her pain, during the Last Rites.”

“So Time Lords aren't the only ones with a psychic link....” The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Except this was more than just sensing thoughts...do all vampires have this empathetic link?”

“Only those who share a sire.”

“Figured that.....what I'm still trying to figure out is how Dracula was able to put the whammy on people without even being in the building. That business in the lobby---Father Wyngarde told you what had happened in the police station lobby, right?”

“He did.”

“Right. Well, that was one thing---he was in the building, and using the intercom system....this time, though...”

Janos guided the car around another curve. “Dracula has had centuries to enhance his powers, more than likely through means that would qualify as 'black magic', to most.....but you mentioned something earlier, during your lecture. The 'Yssgaroth'.....I've heard that name before.”

The Doctor nodded---ignoring the fact that he now had the arm rest in a death grip. “Where and when?”

“.....from Dracula himself.”

From the seat behind the Doctor---the same part of the cruiser where recalcitrant criminals would be sitting after their arrest---a familiar voice spoke: “Time is running out faster than expected, Lord Doctor. Someone else is putting their own plans in place to bring about your demise---”

“And when did Dracula ever mention the Yssgaroth?”

“.....Doctor, you're looking a bit pale. That antidote you drank, earlier....you did drink all of it---”

OF COURSE I DID!

The cruiser skidded to a stop, with Janos putting it in park to avoid any mishaps. “Doctor, I---”

Whatever he was about to say died on his lips instantly: the Doctor was gripping both armrests tight enough to leave indentations in the surface. His skin had, once again, gone pale; his breath was labored, and his eyes bloodshot. Tears were streaking down his face as his entire figure shuddered. “....I'm feeling it, now,” he whispered. “The last of it, in me.....the last of his blood....just....boiling off into the ether....” He drew in a faint breath. “...I didn't think....it would feel....quite like this....”

“There's something else,” Janos intoned. “I sensed.....”

He stopped, glancing at the rear-view mirror. “.....someone....”

“He's not with Dracula,” the Doctor rasped. “He's.....helping us....helping to fight him.....” He glanced at the mirror, more tears trailing down his cheeks. “None of you could even be bothered to tell me why you're not allowed to help me!”

“That was not my decision to make, Lord Doctor----”

THEN WHOSE WAS IT, BORUSA?! WHO WANTS ME TO FAIL?!” The Doctor turned in his seat----

----only to see the empty backseat area of the cruiser.

Silence filled the interior of the cruiser for a full two minutes, broken only by the Doctor's ragged breathing.

“Doctor,” Borusa's voice intoned, “you were never expected to fail at this task---”

Then why couldn't any of you just show up and help me?!

“.....I need not remind you of your own disdain for Gallifreyan politics, Lord Doctor, nor will I try to explain things as 'being complicated'. I do feel it necessary to inform you that at this moment, certain individuals who believe they deserve more power than they have are making quite a mess of things, and some of them are pointing the proverbial finger of blame at you, and claiming that the 'notorious renegade' Doctor is the source of Gallifrey's current ills. Many would be helping you now, and have expressed a desire to intervene on your behalf...but to do so would brand them as pariahs. Too many are trying to bring back the old ways....they long to simply watch, from a distance, studying and observing, rather than your more....proactive approach.”

“....so I'm the scapegoat, then,” the Doctor breathed. “And they're just going to hang me out to dry.....”

“You will recall, Lord Doctor, that not all Time Lords believe you are a 'dangerous influence'.....”

The Doctor took another deep breath before looking up, at the rear view mirror....

The face that stared back at him was....unfamiliar. Hints of Asian and Germanic ancestry were present in its features, as was the rather vibrant shade of red in the hair cascading over the eyes...

…..over his eyes.

“Your friends haven't abandoned you, Doctor, and they never will.” The voice was low, deep, but still, in its own way, comforting. “For every Time Lord who sees you as a dangerous renegade, twelve more consider you a role model. Even if you're the only child of Gallifrey on Earth at this moment, Doctor....you are not alone.”

The Doctor nodded at the mirror, bowing his head.

“....Doctor?” Janos glanced at the back seat, frowning. “....is everything....”

“Everything,” the Time Lord quietly replied, “is fine, Janos.” He pulled a handkerchif from his coat pocket, dabbing at his eyes for a moment. “...I just needed....give me a sec....” He leaned back in the passenger's seat, his eyes closed. “I think the toxins are finally, fully, out of me. Just needed a bit of time to....reflect, on things....and yes, that was a really lame pun...” He nodded at the rear-view mirror. “...anyway...I'm good, right now. More than good, all things considered.”

“The voices you were speaking to....I heard them myself, faintly. Did you know them?”

“One of them. Borusa......” The Doctor chuckled. “He was my teacher. As for the second one.....” He let the sentence trail off. “I think we should get moving, Janos. Don't want anyone complaining about how we're taking up too much of the street.”

“.....fair enough.” Janos nodded. “You're sure that---”

Yes. The toxins are out of me....I'm okay, now.”

“Good to hear.” Janos nodded. “I assume that means we can continue on our way, now?”

“If you don't have a problem with it, neither do I.”

Slowly, the cruiser began to accelerate. “So,” the Time Lord mused, “where exactly do we go now?”

“That decision,” Janos replied, “is entirely up to you...though I suggest we avoid any areas that would make for ideal ambush points.”

“Makes sense. The last thing I want to do is make it easy for Dracula's cronies....” The Doctor nodded. “And the clinic is probably going to be crawling with clockwork droids, which further limits our options....” He frowned at the thought. “Whatever we do now, we need to do it quickly---like I said back at HQ, we need to get out of here by sundown.”

Again, Janos nodded. “A wise decision, Doctor. I assume you've told---”

His remark ended abruptly; he glanced to one side, frowning. “.....something's wrong.”

“Don't tell me Dracula's following us,” the Doctor groaned. “That little psychic show of his back at HQ was bad enough, believe me---”

“It's not Dracula.” Janos' expression darkened. “It's....older. Possibly more powerful.”

Older than Dracula?! How is that even----” The Doctor nearly fell over when Janos floored the accelerator.

“That question you asked earlier, about where we're going? You're about to find out.”
----------------------
“Yes. You know I am here, Janos......you want me destroyed, just as you want to destroy the Count.....”

From his hiding place, the Elder couldn't help but smile. “Your hatred of your curse will lead you to me...and the Doctor with you. You will deliver him to me, and seal both your fates....while the Count plays his little game with the police, I will be bathing the streets of---”

Somewhere above him, a door was smashed open.

“.....they cannot have arrived now,” the Elder muttered, his smile vanishing. “It is too soon---”

A woman's voice—-shrill, commanding and leaving little, if any, room for debate---could be heard giving orders, followed by a muted chorus of replies. Several sets of footsteps dispersed through the room above, followed by the smashing of doors. One final, shouted command was given: “FIND HIM!”

The Count had sent his minions to kill the Elder. There was no other possible explanation.

“He thinks to depose me...the petulant FOOL!” The Elder retreated further into the shadows, knowing that he would soon run out of places to hide---especially fro mothers of his kind. The Doctor could wait, now---these new arrivals, these usurpers, were here for one simple reason, and would only leave with proof that the Elder had been destroyed. The Count had ordered it, of course---betrayal of any kind, even a perceived slight, was quite simply unforgivable.

The shouts from above were getting louder---and nearer---with every passing minute: “He's not here!” “All empty on this side!” “Nobody here but the rats and the roaches!”

They will never find me. I will disappear into the night, to regroup, and----

A thunderous blow hit the door on the far end of the room. Several sets of footsteps were converging on the location, now; “He's in here!” one called out. “The old traitor locked himself in!”

“Tell Ariel he's down here! We've got him cornered!”

A deeper voice than the first two ordered the others to “stand back”, then the door shook again.

YOU WILL NOT TAKE ME!” the Elder screamed. “I BEND MY KNEE TO NO ONE!”

Muttering and laughter sounded from behind the door---which shook one more time before cracking in half under the weight of a shoulder thrust. A burly, black-haired vampire sporting an angular goatee edged his way into the room, staring at the Elder all the while.

“You came here to kill me, didn't you?!” the Elder spat. “On the orders of the Count?!”

From behind the hulking vampire, the female spoke: “You betrayed him, Elder. You know the penalty!”

“HE HAS BETRAYED US ALL! He is obsessed with his schemes, with his stupid plans!”

Three other vampires, all of them lithe and with a hunger in their eyes, entered the room, behind Ariel and the goatee'd vampire. “The Count always knew you were a senile fool,” Ariel taunted, striding up to stand next to the vampire who'd broken the door. “Kevin,” she purred, “kill him.”

A thin smile appeared on Kevin's lips.

“You will regret this,” the Elder rasped. “All of you will regret it....I have powers at my disposal that---”

The other three vampires rushed towards him, their screams merging as they converged....
----------------------
“'Youth Hostels Association: Whitby'. I think this is where the girl was supposed to go before she fell in with Dracula's crowd....” The Doctor frowned. “Nice looking place. A bit too nice for the likes of Dracula's minions to be seen.....”

“This isn't right,” Janos muttered. “The power I sensed....the presence....it was here....”

“Maybe whoever it was used the same mists that Dracula used to bring me to him,” the Doctor suggested. “Is that a universal ability, among vampires?”

“He more than likely acquired it during his studies of the dark arts....or from---”

“The Yssgaroth, probably.” The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Why am I not surprised....”

“Whatever this presence is....we need to find it, and soon. There's something about it...Doctor, look!” Janos nodded in the direction of the hostel.

“.....seeing as how we've already established that the building looks nice,” the Time Lord replied, “I can only assume you're pointing out the conspicuous rolling fog that's moving directly towards us....” He arched an eyebrow. “Either Dracula's planning on bringing me back to his castle for a repeat of the 'wine tasting', or this is something very, very different....”

Janos shook his head. “Whoever's creating that mist, it isn't Dracula....” His eyes widened. “...Doctor....”

“The presence from earlier?”

“It has to be----” All at once, Janos shuddered, his eyes rolling back in his head.

“JANOS! What...what is it? What's going on here?! Talk to me, man.....” The Doctor's gaze shifted from the stricken vampire to the still-creeping mists. “Come on, Janos.....”

Before Janos could respond, the mists had overtaken the car.

“We're in the mists now, great.....just where I didn't want to be, again.....” The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Any hints as to where exactly we're going woudl----”

Whitby.....Abbey.......”

The Doctor's eyes widened. “The abbey.....the presence is emanating from there?! I don't....”

Janos had passed out, by the time the mists faded---and the police cruiser was now in what appeared to be catacombs. “....we're underneath Whitby Abbey,” the Doctor realized. “Wow. Just.....” He chucked. “Never thought I'd see the day.....and I suddenly get the unwelcome feeling that I'm not alone---present company excluded, of course....”

Slowly, the mists dissipated, revealing just how correct his fears were.

Five vampires---six, counting the emaciated figure in the buttoned-up black trenchcoat---were scattered in a roughly circular peremiter around the car. Five of them had apparently been about to attack the one wearing the trenchcoat, but were now staring, confused, at the cruiser.

“IT IS HIM!” the trenchcoat-wearing vampire shouted. “THE CHILD OF GALLIFREY! THE TRUE ENEMY!”

Oh, hell..... “Ah, hi,” the Doctor muttered, giving a nervous wave. “Obviously, I have no idea who any of you are or what I'm actually doing here, but if you'd just give me a few minutes to explain things....” Four of the vampires were advancing towards the cruiser. “....see, this is why I asked for a few minutes---”

“They will give you nothing, Child of Gallifrey,” the emaciated, trenchcoat-wearing vampire spat. “The Count has had the chance to kill you in the heart of his domain, and he failed. Now, within my domain, you will meet your fate, for I am---”

“You are a traitor,” the sole female of the group snapped. “We came here on the master's orders, not yours!”

“I AM YOUR MASTER, NOW! THIS IS MY DOMAIN, AND YOU WILL DO AS I COMMAND!

The four vampires surrounding the car had stopped, glancing back at the argument. “Ariel,” one called out, “do we kill this guy or---”

KILL HIM!” Ariel shrieked, gesturing at the vampire in the trenchcoat. “THEN WE KILL THE OTHER GUY!”

“Oh, so I'm 'the other guy', now,” the Doctor muttered. “Glad to see I'm being demoted to second fiddle---”

One of the vampires, a hulking specimen with a goatee and impeccably-combed black hair, glared at him.

“.....then again, being 'the other guy' isn't always a bad thing.....”

“You would serve the delusions of a fool,” the trenchcoat-wearing vampire snarled, “rather than accept your destiny as soldiers of a true leader...YOU WILL BURN FOR THIS!”

“We've heard enough of your lies, Elder,” Ariel spat. “The master is in charge---”

“HE IS A MASTER OF NOTHING! HE WILL LEAD YOU TO YOUR OWN DESTRUCTION!”

“He will lead us to victory over the entire human race,” Ariel replied, her voice dripping with venomous ecstasy at the mere thought of it. “Kevin, Matthew, Geoffrey---tear him apart!

Matthew and Geoffrey, the skinnier of the vampires, moved to restrain the Elder (the apparent title of the trenchcoat-wearing vampire---but as the Doctor watched, simultaneously fascinated and horrified at what he beheld, the seemingly-frail Elder reacted with the speed of a cheetah on steroids: he lunged at Matthew and tore his jaw off with one hand, before flinging it at Geoffrey---then rearing back and plunging his hand into Matthew's chest, tearing out his heart. A pained gasp left the vampire's throat before he sank to the floor, blood spilling out of both his face and the gaping hole in his chest; in the span of a few seconds, he seemed to wither into a dried-out husk.

Geoffrey, meanwhile, was trying to pull the jawbone out from where it had been embedded, but the Elder had cleared the gap between himself and the younger vampire. After swatting away Geoffrey's hands, he grabbed the sides of his head in both of his own hands, practically jamming his thumbs into the eyes of the other vampire before squeezing inwards. An animalistic, panicked scream was the last sound Geoffrey made as his head began to cave in under the Elder's grip; within seconds, his skull had collapsed completely, leaving bloody chunks of bone, flesh and brain behind. The Elder threw the corpse to the ground, ripping its heart out as he'd done with Matthew.

“Okay, there's no possible way this is going to end well,” the Doctor muttered.

“Your 'master' promised you power,” the Elder spat, “but he knows nothing of what true power entails! I WILL SHOW YOU, NOW, THE SECRETS OF TRUE POWER....THE POWER THAT YOUR SO-CALLED MASTER WOULD NEVER SHARE WITH YOU!” As Ariel and the other two vampires watched, the Elder held up the hearts of Geoffrey and Matthew, then lowered them until they were next to his rat-like face.....

….and, after giving the Doctor a murderous smile, he consumed the hearts of the slain vampires.

“.....Janos,” the Time Lord muttered, “if you're going to wake up, now would be a really good time....”
-----------------------------------------------------
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 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:40 pm

“......unbelievable.”

“Hmm?” Father Wyngarde glanced up from the book he'd been reading, frowning slightly. “What, exactly, is it that you find unbelievable, Chief Inspector?”

“I've been checking the medical records of the Whitby police department---their own officers, not those of the local Metropolitan branch---and.....” Lauden shook his head. “Apparently, the Ilhousen Clinic made some kind of offer for walk-in checkups and examinations at any time, on any day of the week!”

Wyngarde lowered the book, frowning. “And how many of them have actually taken them up on this?”

“Not many, thankfully....but just last week, about three or four officers all went to investigate a noise complaint from the clinic, and they never reported back.” Lauden shook his head. “If they're actively going after the police now.....”

He stopped, glancing at the door to the conference room; Father Wyngarde did likewise.

The officer standing in the doorway was staring---not at either Lauden or Father Wyngarde, but at the far wall of the conference room. She was attractive, of course---even a man of Lauden's age would have no problem admitting it---but....something about her unwavering stare was just off.

There was also the small matter of her apparently not breathing, even as she stood there.

“Ah, can we help you?” Lauden inquired. “We were just having a bit of a chat....if you're looking for---”

“Chief. Inspector. Lauden.” The words were clipped, in a jarring stacatto pattern.

“.....that would be me, yes,” Lauden began, “what do you---”

“Lauden,” Father Wyngarde muttered, “don't move.”

“Father. Gary. Wyngarde.” The officer was still staring at the far wall. “Targets. Confirmed.”

“Targets con.....oh, dear God......” Lauden glanced around the room, hoping to find something he could use to defend himself if the need arose. “She's one of them....those blasted clockwork robot people.....”

Slowly, the officer turned to glance at the Chief Inspector, audible whirrings and clickings emanating from her as she moved. More whirrings followed as she raised her left arm, almost as if she wanted nothing more than to shake hands with Lauden.....except her left hand split, right at the center, with the halves seeming to lift and fold backwards to reveal a wicked-looking gun barrel. “Objective. Kill.”

“Lauden----”

Father Wyngarde's warning was cut off by Lauden diving out of the chair just as a shot rang out; the bullet tore through the back of the chair like it was cheap pressboard, hitting the wall behind it. The officer's entire upper body pivoted with a loud whir, taking aim again---this time, at the conference table itself, which Lauden was attempting to hide under. “Recalibrating. Aim---”

A heavy thwak cut her off---Father Wyngard had hurled his book at her head. “Calibrate that!”

Halting whirs accompanied the stilted, jerky turning of the officer's head. “Re...cal....ib....rating.....”

“HIT IT AGAIN!” Lauden scrambled out from under the table. “AND KEEP HITTING IT!”

“That was the only book I had, actually,” Father Wyngarde admitted. “We could use the chairs---”

The officer's right arm bent at the elbow, just as her left had done; the hand turned and split down the middle finger to reveal a smaller barrel. “Al....ter....na....tive at...tack mode....ac....ti....va...ted....”

“Alternative attack?!” Lauden echoed. “What in the blazes---”

His question ended rather abruptly when a gout of flame shot from the newly-revealed gun barrel, setting the surface of the conference table on fire.

“'What in the blazes', indeed,” Father Wyngarde dryly remarked. “Lauden?”

“TRYING TO THINK, HERE!”

The clockwork officer took a step into the room, aiming again. “Re...ca....li...bra...ting....aim.....”

“Any chances you could think faster, Lauden?” Wyngarde called out.

“I'M TRYING!”

“Tar....get....lo....ca.....ted.....”

“I believe she's 'drawn a bead on me', Lauden---”

The clang of metal against clockwork cut him off; the officer had staggered forward (gears whirring in protest), a sizable dent now present in the back of her head courtesey of the fire extinguisher currently wielded by Danielle Tomlinson. “Locate that,” she growled, lifting the extinguisher again.

“New-new-new-new threat loca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca----”

“SHUT UP!” Danielle bashed the erstatz officer in the head once again, sending her to the ground.

“Rerererererererererererecalllllllllllllllllllllll---”

“JUST! SHUT! UP!” Each shout from Danielle was punctuated with another blow from the extinguisher---but the last had the added shock of the left-hand gun barrel firing once, putting a hole in the floor. The clockwork officer's skull, by now, was horrifically deformed, with coils and gears spilling out of her mouth and a viscous fluid leaking from her nose.

“Danielle,” Father Wyngarde intoned, “it's over. She's done.”

Sergeant Tomlinson backed away from the defeated droid, surprisingly calm. “....I hate these things.”

“I have a sneaking suspicion that you're not the only one who does,” Father Wyngarde replied, just as Lauden emerged from under the table. “It's done, then? That thing is---”

“Bricked,” Danielle replied. “By me.” She held up the extinguisher. “You're welcome.”

“....ah. Right.” Lauden nodded. “Commendations in order, definitely.....you have my thanks, Sergeant, for that bit of improvisational----” From the far end of the corridor, behind Danielle, a gunshot split the air; Danielle went down in an instant, clutching her shoulder.

“I'll tend to her,” Father Wyngarde offered, only for the wounded officer to shake her head. “I'm fine.”

“You've just been shot,” Wyngarde protested. “You can't---”

“I'll handle them. You get Lauden out of here.”

There was something in Danielle's voice, and her unwavering stare, that deeply unsettled the priest, but he nodded. “Don't get yourself killed, Sergeant.”

“I won't.”

Father Wyngarde nodded. “Lauden, we need to get out of here---”

“What about Danielle?! She's been shot---”

“Apparently, she can handle herself just fine. We need to go.” Already, Danielle had retrieved a sidearm (more than likely issued by the Armed Response Unit) from a holster on her belt, and was firing precise, killing shots at the clockwork officers at the far end of the corridor.

With Danielle laying down covering fire, Wyngarde and Lauden headed for the nearest exit, hoping that none of the officers watching them leave were also clockwork constructs. None stepped forward to impede their progress, or raised an arm to reveal gun barrels in their hands; a few of them were running to assist Danielle in her efforts to take down the pair of droids that had opened fire on her. “Nearly to the car park, Lauden,” Father Wyngarde muttered. “Don't look back---”

“And what are we supposed to do when we get to the car park?!” Lauden countered. “We can't just leave!

“Nobody said anything about leaving. We're going to bring the car around to a rear exit and get Danielle out of here---which of these is yours?”

“.....that one.” Lauden shook his head; “You're really going to do this, aren't you?”

“She's running on adrenaline right now, Lauden. More than likely, she stopped feeling the shot a few seconds after it hit her.” As soon as Lauden had unlocked the car, Wyngarde flung open the driver's side door. “We haven't a second to waste!”

Lauden was barely in the car when it took off, falling face-first into the backseat.

By the time the car was at the rear exit of the building, the door was already open---a few officers had already begun the process of removing the remains of the clockwork droids that had been destroyed inside. “I don't see her,” Wyngarde muttered. “She should be out here, right now.....” He put the car in park, racing over to the nearest officer. Lauden, still recovering from his spill into the backseat, glanced up to see Wyngarde asking where Sergeant Tomlinson was and why she wasn't with them.

The officers' reply was brief, and rather surprising: after making sure the droids had been thoroughly rendered inactive, Tomlinson had headed for the front door exit and her own car a few seconds before Lauden's own vehicle had arrived at the rear exit.

Wyngarde nodded, returning to the car. “She's left the building,” he stated, quietly. “We just missed her.”

“Still think she's running on adrenaline, Gary?” Lauden replied. “Even if she was, it'd only keep her going so long before shock and blood loss began to take their toll...she'll have to be at a hospital now, or a....clinic....”

“She already knows what the Ilhousen Clinic is doing,” Wyngarde countered. “She'd know better than to---”

“Then she'll be heading to her flat, which is where we should be heading—-”

Lauden.....” Father Wyngarde had turned to glare at Lauden over the edge of the front seat. “If she needs to heal, to rest and recuperate, then we should let her.”

“......I'll call her phone and leave a message, then,” Lauden muttered. “Give her an hour to recover, at least...”
-----------------------------------------------------
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 4

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:44 pm

“.....what.....engh.....” Janos Ruthven shook his head. “Where are we---”

The somewhat startling image of the Doctor looming over him, barely five inches away from his face, instantly snapped him out of whatever funk he was in. “....Doctor?”

“Oh, good, you're awake.” The Time Lord backed away, giving Janos enough space to see what was going on outside of the police cruiser. “Ah, quick sit-rep: we're under Whitby Abbey, two vampires just got killed via the forced removal of a jawbone and the sudden and spectacular compression of the skull---oh, and removal of their hearts, which were just eaten by that Orlock-looking guy over there, the Elder---”

Janos' eyes widened. “The Elder?!”

“Yeah, the formerly skinny one,” the Doctor explained, his tone somewhat manic, “who is currently growing like a beanstalk and, oh, joy, he's growing wings.....” The smile on his face was nowhere near his eyes. “Janos...”

The vampire swiftly unbuckled his seatbelt, leaving the police cruiser (the Doctor was halfway out of the car already), watching in horror as the Elder transformed---his seemingly frail body now rippling with muscle, with skeletal wing formations already stabbing out through his back. A horrific shout split the air, as the Elder grabbed at the third of the “skinny” vampires who had been sent to destroy him; in seconds, the screaming vampire's ribs were torn from his body, his heart scooped out like the pit of peach and devoured.

“....he's done it,” the Doctor whispered, his tone now panicked. “He's turning into one....by the Sash, he's going to turn into one....”

“Turn into what, Doctor?” Janos quietly asked.

The Time Lord stared at him with wide, fearful eyes. “.....a Great Vampire.”

DO YOU SEE, NOW?!” the Elder roared, his voice just as monstrous as his new form. “DO YOU SEE THE POWER YOU COULD POSSESS, IF YOU WOULD ABANDON THE COUNT AND SERVE ME?!

From the back of the crypt, a shrill female voice: “WE WOULD NEVER SERVE YOU, ELDER!”

“Ariel,” the Doctor explained to a confused Janos. “She and Kevin were apparently sent to kill the Elder, along with the three, ah....former vampires, currently corpses....”

AND YOU, DOCTOR!” The Elder turned to glare at the Time Lord. “YOUR LIFE ENDS HERE----”

“No life will be taken in this crypt tonight, Elder,” Janos countered, stepping forward. “Whatever grievance you have with the Doctor, you can take up against me.”

The Elder roared, the skeletal wings on his back already beginning to grow leathery membranes.

“Just stay behind me, Doctor,” Janos advised, “and---DOCTOR!

For some bizarre reason, the Doctor had run over to the nearest vampire corpse and retrieved the belt from it, before heading over the other and doing the same. “It may not be a whip, but it's close enough for me....” As Janos watched, more than a bit confused, the Time Lord lashed the two belts together, nodding. “Borusa, if you're up there...whatever happens next, don't let me end up like the Neanderthal....”

With a final nod, he brandished the belt-whip. “YOU WANT ME, ELDER?!”

The now fifteen-foot tall vampire glared at him, eyes blazing with rage.

“.....I was really hoping he wouldn't do that, because now I feel like a complete idiot---”

A blur shot past the Doctor, and the belt-whip was gone from his hand; seconds later, Janos seemed to appear out of thin air right next to the Elder, swinging the belt-whip and hitting him in the legs. “I don't think this is going to work!” he called out.

“THEN GET AWAY FROM HIM AND COVER YOUR MOUTH!” The Doctor felt around in a coat pocket.

Janos started to say something, only to get smacked in the face by a wild clubbing blow.

“Come on, come on.....THERE! I need to sort these pockets out when this is over with....

“DOCTOR....”

“MIGHT WANT TO DO THE WHOLE 'COVERING THE MOUTH' THING NOW, JANOS!” The Doctor reared back, as if perparing to hurl a baseball at the Elder. “You two, Kevin and whats-her-face.....eh, just stay where you are for now....” Ariel shrieked something in reply, but the Time Lord ignored it. Three....two....one.....

Just as Janos ducked away from the Elder, both hands over his mouth and nose, the Doctor hurled a silvery sphere towards the Elder---which split open just as it hit him in the chest. The resultant vapor---a garlic-tinged concoction similar to police-issue Mace---was meant to send him reeling....but as the contents spilled forth, the Elder threw back his head and laughed.

“Oh, that's not good,” the Doctor muttered. “That's....really, extremely not good....”

FOOL! YOU CANNOT WEAKEN ME WITH YOUR TRICKS! I HAVE GROWN BEYOND MY LIMITS!

“Okay, can you translate that to STANDARD ENGLISH, maybe?!”

“The Elder has removed his own heart!” Ariel shrieked. “Unless his heart is destroyed while outside of him, he is immortal!”

“.....okay, that is just cheating.....”

Again, the Elder roared, shaking the entire crypt. “YOU WILL DIE TONIGHT, DOCTOR! YOUR BLOOD WILL BATHE THE STREETS OF WHITBY---”

“Yeah, sorry, no. I didn't die back at Castle Dracula, and I'm not going to die here.” The Doctor nodded to Janos, who tossed him the belt-whip. “I was hoping to get this whole thing sorted out quickly, because I have some far more urgent matters to tend to---”

The Elder's roar shook stalactites down from the “ceiling” of the crypt, forcing Ariel, Kevin and Janos to duck.

“.....right, don't do that again. Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I was hoping to get this sorted out quickly because I have far more urgent matters to tend to than wasting my time on your little boss battle....”

A smirk crossed the Time Lord's lips. “....but if that's the way you want to play it....”

With another ear-splitting roar, the Elder charged across the room, heading straight for the Doctor---who took the opportunity to lash him across the face with the metal end of the belt-whip. Streaks of blood flew from where the buckle had struck the Elder right in the eye---followed, predictably, by another enraged roar.

“JANOS!” he called out. “We need to find this idiot's heart and destroy it, quickly, otherwise we're gonna have a bad time!”

Janos yelled something along the lines of “you're kidding me”, with an expletive tossed in for good measure.

Any reply the Doctor could've made was drowned out by another roar---and a sudden wave of heat. “Oh, for the love of---” Kevin and Ariel had retreated to the farthest corner of the room, away from the wave of hellish fire spewing from the Elder's mouth. “I WAS JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE BOSS BATTLE THING!”

“I don't think he cares!” Janos shouted back. “Keep him busy—-I'll try to find his heart and---”

The Elder whirled around, glaring at Janos and spewing fire in his direction.

“CAN YOU MAYBE NOT SHOUT OUT YOUR PLAN OF ATTACK?!” the Doctor bellowed, racing back to the police cruiser and diving into the backseat. “Good thing Janos brought all of this stuff....otherwise we'd be royally screwed right about now...” The aged leather pack the vampire had brought was lightly tossed out of the window, followed by the Doctor diving through said window just as the fiery breath of the Elder smashed into the cruiser. “YOU MIGHT NEED THESE, JANOS!”

“THROW THE PACK TO ME!”

The Doctor groaned---Janos was all the way on the other side of the crypt. “HE'LL DO THE FIRE BREATH THING ON IT BEFORE YOU CAN CATCH IT! YOU COME OVER HERE AND GET IT!”

Janos groaned, but nodded; as the Doctor watched, he broke into a sprint, leaping over another fire breath...

….and landing on his feet right next to the Time Lord.

“Vampire reflexes,” he declared, grinning---only to be pulled down before a stalactite could smash into his head after another room-shaking bellow from the Elder. “Less bragging,” the Doctor advised, “more fighting....what exactly did you put in this thing, anyway?” Any thoughts of crosses and holy water vanished when the Doctor saw Janos retrieve the same silver dagger he'd wielded against Dracula in the vision at St. Hilda's.

“Even if this gift wasn't enough to slay Dracula,” Janos intoned, “I will use it to kill the Elder---”

“Speaking of the Elder,” the Doctor mused, “is it just me or is he still getting bigger?!”

Indeed, the formerly thin and frail vampire was growing ever taller, his head threatening to scrape the ceiling of the crypt. “Seriously, when I said this was a 'boss battle', I was just kidding....I didn't want it to actually turn into one!”

“The Elder's heart is probably in one of the graves around here,” Janos realized. “If we can break them---”

“So now we're destroying graves,” the Doctor groaned. “Fantastic...”

Janos gave him an annoyed look, but otherwise said nothing.

“Right, start running around and busting up graves, and then find the Elder's heart and, well....” He made a single, quick “stabbing” motion. “As for the other two idiots..” He nodded towards Kevin and Ariel, the latter of whom was yelling at the former to “do something”. “.....well, they can sort out their own issues, hopefully, instead of doing something like, say, attacking us.” He rolled his eyes at the thought.

“That's a brilliant plan, Doctor,” Janos admitted, “but how do you expect me to break open graves using nothing but a knife?”

“I dunno....vampire strength?”

Even as he glared at the Doctor, Janos managed a smile. “I think I could manage that.”

“Good---start managing it as soon as possible, preferably now!”

The Elder had, by this point, transformed into a truly monstrous creature---he looked more like a humanoid bat/demon hybrid than anything remotely human. His wings, motionless up to this point, were beginning to stir; any motion from them would've shaken the entire crypt and more than likely collapsed the ceiling onto everyone present. Janos, for his part, managed to cross the room quickly enough to reach the graves on that side, striking them hard enough to shatter the lids.

Just keep searching for that heart, Janos....you look for the heart, and I'll do what I do best----

A wave of fire struck the floor five feet away from the Doctor, scorching the rocks and very nearly singing the Time Lord's clothing. “ANY CHANCE YOU COULD SPEED IT UP, JANOS?!”

The vampire yelled something that barely registered, and the Doctor nearly asked if he could repeat it---

---except for the small problem of the firey wave arching right over his head, slamming the wall a few feet behind him.

The monstrous, demonic Elder lumbered towards the Doctor, his bat-like face contorted in hatred.

“Okay, this just got about thirteen times harder...JANOS, COULD YOU MAYBE SPEED IT UP A LITTLE BIT?!”

I'M TRYING!

TRY HARDER!” the Doctor screamed. The Elder was now lumbering forth, hunched over just to avoid smashing his head on the ceiling and roaring with every single step. “OTHERWISE THIS PLACE WILL BE OUR TOMB!”

In response, Janos began leaping from one grave to the next, tearing them open with frightening speed.

Another wave of fire slammed into the police cruiser, incinerating it in an instant.

“I have a distinct feeling,” the Doctor muttered, “that this isn't going to end well.....”

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 4

Postby bad geminton » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:33 am

Great work, once again.
Do you know who I miss? That guy with the potatoes, let's bring him back...


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