7 Aug 2013
The Problem with Death: Chapter 4 (Danny)
What do you mean, what are we doing?
Where are we going?
Surely you know that better than I do.
I’m laughing at you right now, mate. You know that, don’t you?
He wants to get help. He wants to help you to extract me. He’s not going to succeed.
Don’t you want to come out? That’s what you said before?
Ha ha. You stupid boy. It’s getting cosy in here.
So you’re planning on staying then?
Why not? Pretty soon we’ll be linked. They’ll never be able to separate us.
This is my body.
Our body, Danny Boy.
Okay, but I was here first.
What’s happening to the Time Lord?
He’s waking up. I think Cole fixed him.
He’s not fixed. Just a lifeline really.
For a moment I was able to recompose myself, just as the Doctor and Matthew got to their feet. The Doctor looked visibly much better and was busy brushing himself down, the wet mud having covered most of the lower half of his trousers.
‘Are you okay?’ I asked, the voice in my head slowly fading back into the background.
‘I feel as well as I can do,’ said the Doctor, a little smile on his face. ‘How about you?’
I nodded. ‘It was there. For a few minutes it was talking to me.’
‘And?’ asked Aleena, who was helping Matthew stay steady on his feet.
‘It’s not now. But he’s always in there. He’s always calling to me. He wants to stay as well.’
‘I thought you said he was trying to get out,’ said the Doctor, pulling out a hankie and wiping his hands on it.
‘Clearly he changed his mind.’
‘So what exactly happened to you two?’ asked Aleena.
‘So you’re bothered now?’ asked the Doctor, eyebrows arched.
‘Matthew was able to restart my hearts. Him and I are still linked. The trick is to meld our bodies together and kick start the regenerative process.’
‘And how do you feel about this, Matthew?’ asked Aleena.
‘I can think of worse people to become, I suppose,’ said Matthew, shrugging his shoulders.
We continued on our way for a little longer until we came up to a huge, brick wall. Every 100 metres or so there were what looked like towers. Modern, metal towers with glass windows at the top and peaked roofs. They definitely looked like guard towers.
The Doctor confidently strode up to the large, iron gates in front of us.
‘Helloooo!’ he called.
There was no reply.
‘Perhaps you ought to press the doorbell,’ suggested Matthew, nodding towards a large, green button set into a panel beside the door.
‘Yes, thank you for your input,’ said the Doctor.
He looked at myself, Aleena and Matthew and then reached for the button. He pressed it and there was a huge blast of a klaxon.
‘State your business’ came an echoing voice from a set of speakers set into the wall above the door.
‘We’re visitors. Travellers.’
There was a moment of silence. ‘She is an outsider,’ said the voice.
‘She’s just a friend trying to help us,’ said the Doctor, not having to double check who the voice was referring to.
‘She is not welcome.’
‘As I said, she’s helping us not you.’
There was silence.
‘Look,’ continued the Doctor, ‘I don’t want to offend you, but we really do need help. My friend, Danny, has become, well, possessed by a creature. Aleena believes your scientists may be able to help him.’
‘Look, are you going to at least let us in the city?’
‘Please wait,’ came the voice.
They waited. And they waited. For what was probably minutes but seemed like hours.
Finally there came a sound from the gates and they slowly swung open revealing a tall, thin man standing there, flanked by two guards. He lifted his purple robes up so they didn’t trail on the wet mud beyond the gleaming city pathways and walked towards the Doctor.
I noticed Aleena sneering at the man.
‘I am Rix. I’m responsible for Outer World Communication.’
The Doctor extended his hand.
Rix didn’t it.
‘Please to meet you,’ said the Doctor. ‘I know you don’t like outsiders, but we’re in desperate need of your expertise.’
‘So the guard was telling me,’ said Rix, stepping towards me.
I felt a little uncomfortable as his small, black eyes looked me up and down.
Look at him. Staring at us.
I shook the voice away again. ‘I’m Danny,’ I said, extending my hand.
Rix smiled, frowned and looked down at my hand. ‘Not until you’ve been cleansed,’ he said with disgust in his voice.
‘Hey!’ I said, a little peed off at the bloke. ‘There’s nothing wrong with me.’
Apart from me being inside here.
‘Shut up!’ I said aloud.
‘I beg your pardon?’ said Rix, looking a little insulted.
‘Ah,’ said the Doctor, ‘my friend has been through a lot. If we could just get him inside…’
‘Not so fast,’ said Rix, holding a hand up to the Doctor. ‘Why exactly should we help you?’
‘Out of the sheer goodness of your heart, perhaps?’ offered the Doctor.
Aleena stifled a laugh.
Rix’s eyes flicked to her and then back to the Doctor. ‘We are a private people. We don’t do anything out of the goodness of our heart.’
The Doctor thought for a moment. ‘I can help you.’
‘Reunite your people and the outsiders.’
‘They don’t believe in Ireel. How can you make them believe?’
‘I can’t make them believe, but I can find a way for you to live in peace.’
‘Ah, forget it,’ said Aleena, sitting down on a tree stump and drawing her knees in. ‘They don’t even want us here.’
‘That is true,’ said Rix, looking her up and down with disgust.
As I watched the argument begin to flare up I felt the Apparite inside my head again. My vision was going blurry and I could feel my legs starting to give way. Matthew must have noticed me because he was by my side in an instant as I felt myself fall to the floor.
‘Can we just get inside?’ I heard the Doctor say as he and Matthew hauled me to my feet.
‘Very well,’ said Rix. ‘And then we can discuss terms.’
I wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but a little while later I woke up. I was on a soft mattress surrounded by medical equipment and a number of blue skinned male and female nurses. The air smelt sweet and fresh and everywhere looked bright.
‘How are you feeling, Danny?’ asked the Doctor, who had appeared at my bedside.
‘Funny,’ I said, not feeling quite “with it”.
Tell him how I’m sitting in your head singing you lullaby’s.
‘He’s talking to me now,’ I said.
‘I know. I know,’ said the Doctor. ‘The doctor’s are going to examine you and see if there’s anything we can do.’
‘Do you think they can?’
‘I’m not sure, but even if they can just help to suppress it until we can find a real solution…well, I know it’s not ideal, but at least you’ll be back on your feet.’
I nodded. I couldn’t go on feeling like this. I had no idea why the Doctor thought the Xanji-For could help me. They didn’t seem any more technically advanced than any other race we’d met, but I had to put my faith in the Doctor. I didn’t have any other choice.
‘I’ll speak with you later, Danny,’ said the Doctor.
‘Where are you going?’ I asked, realising that I didn’t want to be left alone.
‘To the Festival Of Life. I’ll explain later.’
He gave me a little wave and then he was gone.
He’s more interested in himself than you.
Somehow I trusted the voice. I knew I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t help myself.