1 Apr 2013

The Vanishing Man, Chapter 11

Caroline and June had located a hotel room deep into the complex. They had locked the door with a key card taken from the deserted reception and hidden in the large, en suit bathroom.

Caroline sat on the edge of the bath, deep in thought.

June, meanwhile, was sat on a towel on the floor, sipping a glass of water.

“There’s a kettle in the room if you want a cuppa,” said Caroline.

“No. We can’t risk going out there. Those thins will find us.”

“I’ve seen worse things than them,” said Caroline.

“What do you mean?”

“Ghosts, walking, talking dogs…all sorts. Those things out there are just…mild annoyances.”

June laughed. “Mild annoyances.”

“It’s true. We’ll get out of this, June,” said Caroline, giving her a smile. “I promise you.”

“This all seems very run of the mill to you,” said June.

Caroline hadn’t thought about it too often, but maybe she was getting settled into this life. The original reason for Caroline joining the Doctor was to find out some answers about herself, but now…that seemed to be furthest from her thoughts. She knew the Doctor was trying, but sometimes it didn’t feel enough.

“I come from a town called Thornsby,” she said to June, smiling as she remembered the place. “It’s nothing special. No one would miss it if it was wiped off the map, actually.” She closed her eyes. “Nobody but the people who live there.”

“It can’t be all that bad.”

“It’s not really,” said Caroline. “I guess it’s one of those towns that makes you angry with it if you live there, but…well, you wouldn’t want any other home. You can’t help but love the place.”

June smiled and rubbed the back of her neck. “My ex, Graham, always said that you can call merry hell out of your home town, but as soon as an outsider says something... That’s a big no-no.”

Caroline smiled. “He’s right.”

June rubbed the back of her neck again.

“Are you alright?” asked Caroline.

“Just an itch,” said June. “It’s been annoying me for about half an hour now.”

“Let me look.”

“I’m fine!” said June, shuffling away from Caroline slightly.

“Okay,” said Caroline. “Just thought I’d help, that’s all.”

“I’m fine,” said June again.

Caroline was about to get up and get herself a glass of water when there was an explosion from outside and the whole bathroom shook violently. Both women screamed as the glass in the shower cubicle shattered, spraying them both with tiny shards of glass.

“What was that?” asked June, shielding her face.

“They’ve found us,” said Caroline, pulling June to her feet and running towards the door.

They went into the main hotel room and floating in the shattered remains of the door were the robotic drones, each with their lasers aimed at the women.

“Now what?” asked June.

“I don’t know,” said Caroline, swallowing hard. “There’s no where to run.”

“Good evening!” beamed Blackmore as Danny was escorted into the generator room. He was tied up with his hands behind his back and one of the drones obediently floated from Blackmore to Ethan and Emily.

Danny did a double take when he saw the blonde-haired man sat crossed legged on the floor.

“Yes, it’s me,” sighed Blackmore.

“What are you doing here?” asked Danny.

“Long story,” said Blackmore. “I don’t quite understand it myself.”

“You were all brought here by us,” said Emily.

“Well that’s wrong for a start,” said Danny. “We came here because we detected strange signals.”

“You mean Matthew Cole?” asked Ethan.

“That’s the bloke,” said Danny. “We came because of him.”

“Yes. He’s an anomaly. He’s trapped here. We picked up the signals he was giving off and came to investigate.

“And you thought you’d set up camp?” came a familiar voice from back the way Ethan, Emily and Danny had come.

“Doctor!” said Danny, a little surprised at his own delight at seeing his bald-headed companion again.

“Good to see you, Danny,” smiled the Doctor. “I take it these two brought you here?”

“Do you know what they are?” asked Danny.

“The sonic screwdriver never lies,” said the Doctor, holding up the device. “Unless it’s deciding to be a screwdriver. They’re the stuff of myths. They hide out in the vortex and pray on lost time ships, but rarely do they ever travel to planets.”

“We got…bored,” smiled Ethan.

“So you came here because of Matthew, realised that him being here had turned this place into a honey pot teaming with time energy and then used this machine to…what?” he said, indicating it with his hands.

“Mr Blackmore knows what it is.”

“I do?” asked Blackmore, a little confused.

“Ahh,” said the Doctor, nodding in recognition, “Shroud technology?”

“What?” asked Blackmore. “But how?” Blackmore had escaped Trixatin after trying to steal plans for Shroud technology. A tech that helped mask a whole planet by creating a false environment around the original.

“We were watching you,” smiled Emily. “We swooped in and took the plans, modified them and then set up the Shroud here.”

“So you find Matthew, put up the Shroud and only let in time sensitive’s. Blackmore is spinning helplessly through the vortex and is drawn here - like a bee to honey - and then we turn up. In the meantime the entire world is going on around us while we sit in a strange, pocket dimension slightly out of sync with everything else.”

“But those two were able to drive me in,” said Danny, now standing even closer to the Doctor.

“If you know where the doors are then you can get in and out,” said Ethan.

“And the TARDIS obviously is quite an expert in traversing the dimensions,” said the Doctor, leaning against the generator and tutting to himself. “But I drove out of the airport with no problems.”

“It’s not been perfected yet. Unfortunately time sensitive’s can sometimes slip out.”

“I’m getting a little bit lost here,” said Danny, as he tried to edge closer to the Doctor. “There are other people in this airport?”

“Are there?” asked the Doctor, walking over to the machinery and looking it up and down.

“Yes, of course. There’s…” Danny was confused.

“Go on,” said the Doctor.

“There’s June. That woman. The first aider.”

“Ah, yes. There’s June!” said the Doctor, clicking his fingers and pointing at Ethan and Emily.

The two siblings simply smiled.

Caroline and June stood stock still as the drones hovered over to them.

“I don’t know what to do,” said Caroline. She tried to make a move, but the drone’s laser angled itself towards her.

“Just stay still my love,” said June, calmly.

“They’re going to kill us,” said Caroline, trying to remain calm.

“No they won’t,” smiled June.

“What do you mean they won’t?” asked a confused Caroline. “How do you know?”

“Because they need to take us back to their masters.”

Caroline nodded in approval. It was sound reasoning, but then why did they need them alive.

June held her head up and all of a sudden she looked different. Almost like a totally different person. She looked confident. “Take us to your masters.”


June turned and smiled at Caroline. “I’m just taking care of a few of our mistakes.”


“These creatures that have set this place up….they need to be stopped. They need to be destroyed. For the good of the Human race.”

Caroline frowned. She’d heard that phrase before.

June extended her hand. “Corporal June Caster of Eyeglass.”

Caroline just frowned.

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