Day Twenty Three!

Day Twenty Three!

The Doctor on My Shoulder, Part Two by Daniel Roth.

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The Doctor

Mason and the Doctor stood in shocked silence for a moment. "Doctor," Mason croaked, a lump forming in his throat, "Is Ana... did that thing just..?" Mason couldn't even complete the sentence.

The Doctor pulled the magic wand out of the robot's lifeless hands and examined it. "I don't think so," he began. "This kind of technology isn't made for destroying things, it's made for moving them. It's a transmat beam. A tiny transmat beam for a toy robot that reacted when I activated my sonic device. Whoever is controlling these machines is looking for some kind of alien technology."

"What do we do, though, Doctor?" Mason pleaded. "Ana can't just be gone forever."

"You want to find her," the Doctor said, twirling the wand in his hand, "then we have to go wherever she went. And the only way to do that is..." the Doctor pointed the wand at Mason.

"How do you know that won't just land us straight into danger or out into the vacuum of space or something?" Mason said, concerned. "I've watched enough telly to know that zapping yourself with the alien ray gun is a very bad idea."

"Bad idea? Oh, but those are my favourite kind," the Doctor grinned. "Come on, Mason. Nobody ever said saving the world would be as easy as popping round the neighbour's for a cuppa, did they?"

Mason nodded and braced himself.

"Off you go then!" the Doctor said, zapping Mason. Then, with the moment to himself, the Doctor breathed a heavy sigh. "Humans," he said before firing off a shot at himself. The wand he'd been holding dropped to the ground and the Doctor was gone.

Mason hit the ground with a thud. Looking around him, he had no idea where he was. He stood on a grated, metal platform at the end of a long hallway. Piping and long, gray wires travelled along either wall. The air was acrid and Mason could see steam circling beneath the dim, crackling lights. Before Mason could take another step he heard the buzz of an electrical current.

Spinning around, Mason saw the Doctor, his tiny legs slipping through the cracks in the grated floor. "A little help here, Mason!" the Doctor groaned. Mason obliged, picking the Doctor up and placing him back on his shoulder.

"Now what?" Mason asked.

"Judging by the electrical infrastructure," the Doctor said, "this could be... well, it could be anybody, really. We could be anywhere... No distinctive markers or symbols. In fact, if it weren't for the artificial atmosphere, I'd say the only thing on board this cargo vessel was robots like the one we found back at Ana's."

"Well Ana isn't anywhere I can see," Mason whispered, just in case anyone or anything was within earshot. "We'd better try and find her. Should we have a look round, you know, do a bit of investigating? Maybe we can figure out where we are."

"Yeah," the Doctor said, through his teeth. "Let's do a bit of snooping, find out the where's and the why's and the whom's and the, oh, you get the picture. Quiet, though, like a mouse. Or a teeny, tiny Doctor."

"You," Mason said, biting back a laugh, "are the polar opposite of quiet like a mouse." With that, Mason crept slowly down the long corridor. Terrified of the sound of his own footsteps, he nearly leaped when steam shot out at him suddenly. The Doctor, having almost tumbled to the floor, grabbed onto the fabric of Mason's jumper and climbed back upon his shoulder.

As Mason was about to poke fun at the Doctor's predicament, a robot walked out from round the corner. Nearly gasping at the sight of a very human-sized metal man, Mason ducked into a tiny alcove in the side of the wall and waited for it to pass. Once it had, Mason slowly peeked round the corner to see if there were any other robots to be seen. Seeing that the coast was clear, he checked down the corridor where the robot had come from.

There, behind glowing beams that acted like an electric prison, was Ana. She sat, head in her hands, in an oddly plush, almost regal chair. In fact, aside from the fact that she was imprisoned, Mason could easily have mistaken her surroundings for a kind of make-shift throne room.

"This is all really familiar," the Doctor mumbled. "It's right at the edge of my mind..." He scratched his head furiously.

"We've got to get her out of there," Mason said. "Looks like there's some kind of controls over here." He hurried over to an elevated panel and was greeted by all manner of buttons, knobs, and screens. "Don't think I've ever played this video game before," Mason mused. "You reckon there's just an off switch or something?"

"Not likely..." The Doctor's brow furrowed, deep in thought. "Although... Mason," he said, "Can you jimmy open the panel on the top left?"

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