Day Ten!

Day Ten!

The Advent of Fear, Part Two. By Mark B. Oliver.

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Day Six!

'It's not a metal known on this planet, Beth. It's some kind of organic alien technology; not a type I recognise. And that's rare. And worrying. The organic component is what's causing the power discharge.' Beth looked blank and the Doctor added, 'If the exact same organic matter from different times touch, a large amount of energy is released.' As he spoke the Doctor glanced at the man. He was looking directly at him.

'Who are you?' demanded the Doctor. The wraith-like figure lowered the newspaper without breaking his gaze and turned his head ever so slightly to maintain eye contact.

'I'm giving you a choice,' the Doctor declared. 'Release us now and leave peacefully. I know you're not human and I can help you. But if you continue with this I will not be responsible for the consequences.' The Doctor's voice held a dark undertone but here was no reaction from the stranger, just a cold, blank unblinking stare. Suddenly he stood and quickly walked from the room. Beth and the Doctor ran to the doorway but he was nowhere to be seen.

'Where did he go? He couldn't have crossed the hall that quickly!' exclaimed Beth.

'What's next door?' asked the Doctor.

'The dining room,' replied Beth, fear creeping into her voice.

The Doctor looked down and said gently. 'Its okay, you don't have to come with me if you don't want to. You can stay here by the fire.'

Beth looked back into the living room and shuddered. 'No, I'd feel safer with you, Doctor.'

The Doctor moved towards the dining room, gently edged open the door and stepped into the room. Immediately it was dark and in literally a flash the room was illuminated by a single large chandelier which held a dozen suddenly lit candles that hung over the long dining table. Beth kicked herself for not keeping the torch with her as their eyes adjusted to the relative gloom. There was no sign of their quarry.

A pale blue light throbbed through the darkness and without exchanging a word they moved cautiously towards it. Despite the danger Beth felt a sense of calm and somewhere in her subconscious she realized the light was soothing her, silencing her, tricking her, trapping her. As they crossed the room she could see the light emanated from behind the drawn curtains. The light. The soft, soothing light...

With a sharp, sudden flourish the Doctor tore a curtain aside and Beth screamed as the thin man's face stared back at them.

She felt a moment's relief as she realized he was on the other side of the window but a deeper sense of dread claimed her as he turned, looking across the lawn. He wanted them to see something and his hangman's smile left no doubt as to its nature. The blue box that she had seen earlier was now encased in the arcing blue light. The light was some kind of prison.

The Doctor smacked his open palm against his forehead. 'Of course!' he shouted. 'I thought he wanted me, us, out of the way, but that isn't it at all. He wants the TARDIS. He's using the released temporal energy to break down her defences!'

'That's your ship?'

'Oh, yes! No time to explain, Beth, but that alien wants the last functioning time machine in the universe and we need your advent calendar to stop him.'

'Did you say time machine?'

But the Doctor was already sprinting towards the door. It slammed shut before him. As Beth ran forward she felt a breeze above her head. The chandelier had started to spin and it was gaining speed. It span faster and faster until its chain silently snapped. Beth involuntarily winced expecting the candles to crash into the table below, but the chandelier hovered.

She glanced towards the Doctor in amazement as the flames of the candles merged into one intense blaze. Suddenly the spinning circle moved swiftly towards them and Beth instinctively pushed the Doctor to the ground as the flames whipped through the air where his head had been moments earlier.

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