25 Jun 2013

The Lighthouse: Chapter 5 (Watching Ghosts)

The Doctor had persuaded Aleena to help him shut down the equipment. Danny and Caroline had stayed in the radio room up above whilst Aleena had taken the Doctor down into the bowels of the lighthouse to destroy the time equipment. At the bottom of the spiral staircase, on the ground level, was another, small wooden door. She unlocked it and the steps carried on.

They seemed to be spiralling down for ages until they came to a large, iron door. Aleena took out a key from her knapsack she had grabbed and unlocked the door. Opening it they could feel the freezing cold air from inside, but there was also the hum of machinery coming from down a corridor.

“Are you sure about this?” asked Aleena. “In the five years that I’ve been here I haven’t returned to this room. Not since I installed it all.”

“Yes,” said the Doctor, edging into the darkness and realising that the last time he had been here they hadn‘t really spoken much about how she came to be on this almost-dead world. “So you just found all of this equipment then?”

“When I was exploring this area of space,” she said, pulling out a torch and shining it into the darkness.

“No light switches?” asked the Doctor.

“No light bulbs,” said Aleena.

“Shame,” said the Doctor, feeling along the wall slightly so as to support himself.

“Gotta admit I was pretty terrified when I found that Dalek saucer,” said Aleena, shuddering. “At first I wasn’t exactly sure what it was as it was pretty badly damaged, but once I went inside I spotted them. They were all dead, thank Ireel.”

“Pretty lucky then,” said the Doctor as they turned a corner.

“You don’t have to tell me that, Doctor. I know what they do to people. They almost invaded my world once.”


“It was at the end of the Third Dalek War. They were just about beaten and the Earth Alliance managed to drive them back to Skaro.”

The Doctor smiled in the darkness. “Good old Earth Alliance.”

“But they always come back,” said Aleena, ominously.

“Yes,” said the Doctor. “They always come back.”

They turned another corner and the room was lit up with a blue glow. Sitting in the middle of the room was a large, gun-metal grey cylinder. A glowing, blue core ran through a glass tube from the floor to ceiling and various wires and panels were connected to the device. It hummed with power, although the room felt ice-cold.

“So, this is it,” said the Doctor.

“Yep, this is it.”

“Let’s get to work.”

Up above Danny and Caroline had decided to take the initiative and had gone looking for a weapons room. Although the Doctor detested weapons, Caroline had figured that their best option would be to at least try and defend themselves. The computer readouts in the radio room had signalled that the Sontaran ships were coming in to land close by, and she wasn’t sure if the Doctor would be able to destroy the equipment and get them out of here in time.

They had wandered down a long corridor until they discovered a metal door leading into a small room.

Dominating the back wall was a huge, cinema screen sized mirror, and in front of the mirror was a large, leather chair. In front of the chair was a small computer console with various dials, switches and readouts. Caroline sat in the chair. The console was already switched on and the mirror was humming with power.

“Be careful,” said Danny warily.

“I’m just sitting,” said Caroline.

She flicked a switch and Danny quickly ran around to the front of the chair.

“That’s not just sitting!” he hissed.

The mirror started to glow and an image appeared on it. It showed an image of the Doctor, Caroline and Danny struggling through the jungles on Theen.

“How does this thing work then?” asked Caroline, concerned at the fact that someone would be able to spy on her so easily.

“Aleena can use it to transport herself anywhere,” said Danny. “So she must just pick a time and jump into it.”

“So,” said Caroline, eyeing up her double on the screen, “I could just hop into that mirror now and it’d transport me to there and then.”

“I presume so.” A worrying thought crossed Danny’s mind. “But don’t!”

“I’m not so stupid,” snapped Caroline. “I know I can’t mess about with time.”

Caroline pressed another button and the screen went blank. It looked simple enough. You simply enter the date, location and time, even to the millisecond, and it would appear on the screen.

She sat for a moment, thinking to herself, and then, with her heart beating faster and faster, she typed in a series of numbers.

“Caroline, no,” said Danny.

The mirror hummed with life and the image changed to that of a young man in old, Edwardian style clothes. He was sat on the edge of a large, four-post bed, a pure-white wedding dress draped over his lap. He simply stared down at it, looking sad.

“You shouldn’t, Caz,” said Danny, softly.

“It’s Will, Danny. It’s my Will,” she said, her voice full of emotion.

“I know,” he said quietly.

“I could just step right into there now and be with him.”

“You could,” said Danny, “but where’s that gonna get you? In the same situation we just pulled you out of.”

“I know,” said Caroline, sniffing and trying to wipe away the tears. “I know.”

“Come here,” said Danny, sitting on the arm of the leather chair and putting an arm around her, pulling her in.

She buried her head on his chest and sobbed. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do, Danny.”

“Think about what William would want you to do,” said Danny, knowing that anything he said wouldn’t help her with her grief. “He’d want you to carry on with your life.”

“But how can I carry on when I see him like that?” she asked, gesturing towards the screen in front of them.

“You heard what the Doctor said. He got on with his life. He’s bound to have some time to get through the grieving process though. It’s only natural. But he will get on with things, just like you.”

Caroline looked at the screen again. Now William was pulling out a large, dress box and folding the dress neatly into it.

“If I ever find a way,” said Caroline, determination in her voice, “I will go back to him. If I ever get this stupid, hidden power out of me, I will go back to him.” She walked over to the screen, her face almost touching it. “I promise.”

“Hey,” said Danny, “let’s take a look at something a little happier.”

He hopped off the chair and looked closely at the control panel. He typed in a few digits and the screen shimmered and changed to the view of a park. There was a set of swings and two, teenagers were sat on them, not swinging, but chatting with each other.


“That’s People’s Park,” smiled Danny. “And that’s you and I.”

Caroline looked more closely. It was them. A younger version of them. “What year is this?”

“It’s 1998. May 8th 1998 to be precise,” said Danny, smiling.

Caroline looked around at him quickly. “That’s when you and I were dating.”

“Yeah,” smiled Danny.

“But why would you bring that up?” asked Caroline, spotting the two of them holding hands.

“Because we were happy then. I don’t mean us being in a relationship, but I mean in general. That year, that spring and summer. It was such a magical time. The only time I’ve really, really felt happy with life. That date has always stuck in my head. One perfect time. Can you remember the summer that year?”

Caroline turned and smiled at him. “It was a good time, wasn’t it?”

“Me and you spending our days walking along the old railway before they pulled it up, long evenings sat on the swings.”

“I still can’t believe you managed to convince that shop keeper you were old enough to buy those bottles of Hooch,” laughed Caroline.

“And I still can’t believe I had to virtually carry you home and sneak you through your bedroom window so your parents wouldn’t find out.”

“And you ripped your shirt climbing down the tree!” said Caroline, laughing out loud at the memory.

And fell into your dads pond!” exclaimed Danny.

The two of them burst into laughter and Caroline crossed over to him. “What happened to us, Danny?”

“What do you mean?” asked Danny, sounding a little confused.

“I don’t mean the relationship or anything,” she said, quickly, “but as friends. What happened to us?”

“I guess we just drifted apart,” said Danny.

“Yeah,” said Caroline. She stood looking at him for a good few seconds. He was a good friend and right now she needed him.

And then the room shook violently, causing the screen to flicker. A piece of plaster fell from the roof and hit the control panel, followed by some timber. The timber smashed into the control panel and it sparked and started to smoulder.

“What the hell was that?” asked Caroline.

“Most be the Sontarans,” said Danny. “It’s damaged the control panel,” said Danny, flicking a few switches. “It’s stuck on looking at us in 1998.”

“Oh well,” said Caroline, “the Doctor wanted to disable it anyway.”

The room shook again and the wall above the doorway began to crack.

“We need to get out of here,” said Caroline, worriedly.

The room shook again and all the lights went out. The two of them couldn’t see a thing and the only thing illuminating the room was the screen showing People’s Park in 1998. It shook again and Caroline and Danny scrambled for what they assumed was a desk as they heard rubble falling.

And then all was silent.

In the time-drive room, the Doctor and Aleena were aware of the commotion up above and were working furiously to deactivate the machinery.

“Do you think Danny and Caroline are okay?” asked Aleena, unscrewing a panel from the bottom of the main unit.

“Do we have a communication station in here?” asked the Doctor.

“Just use your phone, Doc,” said Aleena.

The Doctor looked a little foolish. “Of course,” he said, pulling it from his pocket and dialling Caroline’s number. He let it ring a few times and when it went to voice mail he tried again. Still no answer.

“You go and find them,” said Aleena, noticing the worry on the Doctor’s face. “I’ll finish off in here. I’m almost done anyway.”

“Are you sure?” asked the Doctor, shuffling impatiently.

“I’m sure. Just go.”

The Doctor took one more look back at Aleena and then turned and sprinted through the tunnel and back up the spiral stairs.

Once he got up to the main area he began calling for Caroline and Danny. And then his phone rang.

“Hello?” asked the Doctor. “Caroline, where are you two?”

“We’re…trapped…” coughed Caroline.

“Trapped where?” asked the Doctor.

“In the time viewing room thingy…”

“What are you doing in there?” scolded the Doctor. “I told you to wait here.”

“We just went to search for some weapons and found it.”

The Doctor skipped across the corridor and headed towards the room. Once he got there he found that the majority of the room and the ceiling had caved in, effectively blocking off the door.

“I can’t get you out,” he said, worriedly. “The whole rooms caved in. Can you move?”

“Yeah…” said Caroline. “Danny’s….managed to clear a space and we’re back…in the room.”

The Doctor hopped from one foot to the other, thinking frantically. Then he clicked his fingers. “Is the screen still on?”

“What?” spluttered Caroline.

“What were you watching?” asked the Doctor, growing impatient with her.

“Just me and Danny in a park in Thornsby.”

The Doctor nodded. “Go through the screen.”

“What?” spluttered Caroline as the lighthouse shook again.

“I’m not going to be able to get you out of this room before this place comes crashing down. Your one option is to cross through the screen into that park. I can then come and get you in the TARDIS.”

In the room, Danny had torn a sleeve off his shirt and was wrapping it around a deep wound on his arm.

“What’s he saying?” asked Danny.

“He wants us to go through the screen,” said Caroline, worriedly. “He said he’d follow us on.”

“Caroline!” came the Doctor’s voice from the phone.

“Yes, yes. I’m still here. But what are you going to do?”

“In a few moments Aleena will have deactivated the time drive. And then we’ll let the Sontarans and Eyeglass battle it out while we get out in the TARDIS. The machinery will be destroyed totally when this lighthouse falls down.”

“I don’t know about this, Doctor. It’s a bit risky. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll get to Thornsby again. Look what happened last time.”

“We have no choice,” said the Doctor sternly.

“Now, what are your exact location details.”

Danny crossed over to the smouldering panel, which still showed the readout. “Friday, May 8th 1998. It’s about 4pm in the afternoon.”

“Good,” said the Doctor. “I’ll come and find you. Go to the pub - the White Hart.”

Danny shifted uncomfortably at the name as he listened to the Doctor on speaker, remembering Lisa.

“Do not be late!” scolded Caroline. “We all know what happened last time.”

“Go!” said the Doctor as the room shook again. “I’ll meet you there as soon as I’ve mopped up here.”

Caroline and Danny grabbed each others hands and walked towards the screen. They stepped through it and the image shimmered. They were gone.

Up above the group of spaceships were busy battling. Volley after volley of weapon fire was sent between the two opposing factions. One of the Eyeglass ships had been hit pretty badly and it’s hull had been compromised.

The golf ball-type Sontaran ships were too quick and agile for the bulky, larger Eyeglass ships and were busy blasting away, avoiding return fire.

On the bridge of the Haven, June Caster was getting more and more worried. She moved the dead body of her weapons officer out of his chair and he fell to the ground with a thud.

“We need reinforcements,” said June, checking the shield strength.

“I’ve sent out a distress call,” said Jameson. “No reply as of yet.”

June cursed the control panel and turned back to face the rest of her crew. “We cannot allow those barbaric creatures to gain control of the time equipment.”

Paragrim shook his head, stifling a laugh. “You lot are finished,” he said.

“What are you still doing here?” barked June. “Get out!”

“It’s a lost cause,” said Paragrim, finally letting out a laugh.

“Then why are you here?”

“Because I want to watch you all fail. And then I’ll leave,” he added, with a twisted smile. “You Eyeglass people are fools. Instead of being subtle and making friends and then taking the tech you need, you’ve instead turned the entire galaxy against you.”

“I don’t care!” growled June.

“No,” said Paragrim, getting up and heading for the exit, “of course you don’t.”

“Turn around and face me,” said Caster, pulling out her blaster.

“Why don’t you just shoot me in the back,” said Paragrim, refusing to turn again.

June pulled the trigger on the blaster and shot three bolts of energy into Paragrim’s back. He stopped and then turned to face her.

“Ouch,” he said simply, and began marching towards her.

“Keep back!” yelled Redcar from near the weapons station.

“Someone needs to teach this little piece of slime what happens when you go against Paragrim.”

June shot again, and now Redcar was shooting with a high-powered blaster rifle. The shots just bounced off Paragrims armour.

“I won’t kill the rest of you,” said Paragrim, putting his hand around June’s throat and lifting her into the air. “I actually quite like some of you. You all have potential to be good agents.”

June gasped for air and the rest of them looked on.

The ship shook again and Paragrim threw June at the control panel. She grabbed at her neck and gasped for air.

“What have you done to her?” asked Otto, crossing to her.

“Crushed her windpipe,” smiled Paragrim.

“Why? Why would you be so callous? She can’t breathe!”

“For the good of Paragrim,” he chuckled. He pulled out his own, large blaster and shot a single bolt at her head. June stopped struggling and lay still on the floor.

“This is exactly why we hate other creatures!” yelled Otto.

The bridge shook again and then suddenly there came a bleeping sound from Jameson’s control panel. She quickly turned to it and looked surprised.

“What is it?” asked Paragrim, picking up June’s dead body and hurling it into the corner.

“It’s another ship. It’s one of ours. Oh my god! It’s the Victorious!”

In space the Sontaran ships were suddenly being picked off one by one by a series of energy bolts. Those bolts were coming from a huge grey, spaceship. It was four times the size of the rest of them and was long and sleek, engines sweeping backwards and glowing white hot.

On the bridge of the Haven the communication screen flickered into life. On the screen was a Japanese man. “Victorious to Haven, do you receive me.”

“Yes,” said Jameson, excitedly. “Thank god you came!”

“Stay calm,” said the man, his eyes betraying no sign of emotion. “He’s coming on board. He should be beaming in right now.”

“Who?” asked Paragrim.

“Me,” came a voice from the doorway behind them.

Standing there was a tall, thin man with swept back grey hair. His long hair was tied into a pony-tail behind his head. He had a beard and his eyes were dark and sunken in. He was dressed all in black and surveyed the room with disdain.

“And who are you?” asked Paragrim, folding his arms and standing his ground.

“I’m the General,” said the man, with a smirk on his face, “and I think you and I need to have a little chat.”

No comments:

Post a Comment