Tag Archives: The Legacy

Kuang-Shi (2012) – Sneek Peak

‘Kuang-Shi’ is a story I wrote way back in 2002. It’s one of the Legacy stories I’ve been most looking forward to revising. Ten years is a long time, and there’s much about that story which needs fixing. Or more like beating into shape. And so this week I’ve started revamping it! The core story is the same, the events are, more or less, as people will remember them. Only this time it will all make sense, there’ll be some real depth to the characters, to the dark journey they all take in this story. And there will be loads of new material.

The book is due out at the start of 2013, but here’s a sneak peek at the revised first chapter…

Chapter One

The air frizzled and an outline of three people appeared. Within seconds they had solidified, standing in a circled off area under a large cedar tree. The Doctor was the first to act, removing his hands from his two young friends. He looked around, rubbed the bronzed amulet hanging from his neck and muttered to himself.

‘So, not Westminster Abby, then.’

The young man and woman looked at each, smiled and looked up at the sunny sky. Almost in unison they raised a hand to protect their eyes from the glaring sun.

‘This is Earth, isn’t it?’ asked the woman.

The Doctor turned to face her. ‘Yes, Alf, it certainly is Earth, but not where I expected us to materialise.’

‘Nice one, Doctor.’ Alf removed her sunglasses from one of the pockets of her combat trousers and placed them over her eyes. She looked over at Nick who was putting on a less advanced pair of sunglasses. ‘Nick, I’m home,’ she said, and the Doctor grinned behind her back.

After almost a year in the 26th Century it felt nice to be back on Earth. He had to admit he did miss the old place, but probably not as much as Alf. For her, she didn’t even remember her homeworld – the future Earth had been consumed by the Cybermen, and made uninhabitable as a result.

Nick subtly squeezed Alf’s hand, not that the Doctor noticed, of course.

He smiled to himself. ‘Well, we are in the correct year, although not in the place I wanted to be. We were supposed to arrive in Westminster Abby, just in time to witness Andrew marry Fergie. Still,’ he added, checking his watch, ‘we appear to be in the right temporal location. July 23rd 1986.’

‘This the Lebanon Circle, which means we’re in the East cemetery.’

He wandered off to look at the stone wall, overgrown with foliage. ‘Highgate Cemetery unless I am mistaken.’

Nick looked around. ‘How can you tell that?’

‘This the Lebanon Circle, which means we’re in the East cemetery.’ The Doctor looked over at Alf. ‘I brought us to Earth on purpose, for you. Neither Nick nor I have homes we can return to, but you at least deserve to see your home.’

Alf was still smiling. ‘Thanks, Doctor.’

‘Least I can do. After all it is my fault that you lost your memory. Kind of.’

Alf looked around, awkwardly. ‘Look, Nick, do you mind if I go off on my own for a bit?’

‘I…’ Nick clearly did mind, but the Doctor stepped in before Nick could say anything else.

‘That’s a good idea. Reacquaint yourself with London. Explore your roots a bit. Who knows, being here may spark some memory in you?’

‘Hope so. Remember that jacket I had? The one that looked like it once had things stitched to it?’

The Doctor nodded. ‘Yes. Whatever happened to it?’

‘Lost it during the war somewhere. Maybe in the Settii cluster?’ Alf shrugged. ‘Don’t matter. Point is, the last badge to fall off, when I was working at the internment camp, was this little black and silver thing that has “1987” embroided onto it. This is 1986, right?’

‘Hmm.’ The Doctor could see where Alf was going. He wanted her to find her roots, but if that badge came from 1987, then it followed so did Alf. What could he do, though? Could he really deny Alf this opportunity? No. This universe was not the one from which she originated, so maybe she never existed on this Earth.

The Doctor hoped so.

‘Okay, there’s an Underground station nearby. Archway, I believe.’ He reached into his deep pockets and pulled out a role of notes. ‘Money. Look after yourself. You can use the amulet to find us.’

Alf looked down at her own amulet. ‘Yeah?’

‘Yes, just hold it, think of us, and it will guide you. Low telepathic feild,’ the Doctor added with his brightest smile. ‘Not as good as the TARDIS, but…’

‘Works for me.’ Alf smiled and looked over at Nick, who was standing a little distance away from them.

The Doctor noticed a strange look pass across his face; disappointment.

Nick looked away.

Alf shrugged. ‘Fine,’ she said softly. ‘Cheers, Doctor, catch you in a bit.’

Nick watched her as she walked out of sight. ‘That was nice of you,’ he said, coming over to the Doctor. He didn’t sound so happy.

‘Well I owe both you and Alf a lot. Besides, you and I have to talk. We haven’t really spoken since you left for your mission to New Mars, and then, I seem to recall, we didn’t part on the best of terms.’

Nick scratched his head. ‘Yeah, keep forgetting that.’ He nodded. ‘Clone you on Nova Mondas.’

‘Quite.’ The Doctor sniffed. ‘Can you smell that?’

‘Yeah.’

It was a faint burning. The Doctor looked around the small circle, and with a cry of excitement pointed to a small build up of energy hanging before the cedar tree. They both walked over to it.

‘What is it?’ Nick asked.

The Doctor probed it with a chubby finger and pulled back quickly. ‘Ow!’ He sucked the tip of his finger. ‘That hurt.’

‘So, what is it then?’

‘The remains of some kind of temporal-spatial portal. At a guess I would say that it was this that pulled us slightly off course.’ With a pop the fissure closed up and faded into nothingness. ‘And now it is gone. Hmm.’

The Doctor looked around. It had been a while since he’d travelled through time, and his time senses were rusty. He concentrated. As a Time Lord he should have been able to sense disruptions in time, but that ability had weakened ever since the planar shift that had altered reality around him.

Ever since Gallifrey had gone.

He removed his amulet and waved it around in front of him.

‘Some kind of divining rod?’ Nick asked.

The Doctor was impressed. ‘Yes, actually,’ he said slowly. ‘I’m fine tuning the amulet’s temporal field to the portal; if it returns the amulet will let me know. There!’ He pocketed the amulet.

‘So, this talk then?’

The Doctor looked at Nick with a smile. ‘Yes. And I know just the place!’

*

Nick sat down as the Doctor went to fetch some drinks. They were in a small coffee shop just off Hampstead Heath, and Nick was in the best mood he had been in for half a year.

The Doctor is alive!

Things had happened so fast since the Doctor had walked into the shop of Alpha Centauri, carrying a teddy bear and a Ming vase. Nick had tried to slow things down, get some sense out of the Doctor, but it had been a whirlwind of activity and explanations. Nick did not doubt the Doctor, he never would, but he hadn’t had the time to truly process everything.

‘What about Falex?’ Nick asked as the Doctor sat at the table and passed Nick a drink.

‘He’s where he needs to be once again.’ Although he put on a smile, Nick could tell the Doctor was lying.

‘But you promised to look after him, we both did.’

‘I know that, Nick, but when I met his aunty on Taureas II she made me promise to return him home. I should have returned him straight away… but the war…’

A lot of things went crazy with the war. Nick could at least understand that. ‘But I should never have taken him to Chronos with me, I should have…’

The Doctor looked up from his drink sharply. ‘Chronos?’

‘Yeah, some totally screwed up planet. Void pirates, living sky barrels…’

The Doctor rubbed his beard. ‘Oh, a planet. I thought…’ He shook his head. ‘It doesn’t matter. Look, Nick, I understand what you’re saying, but Falex will be better with his own people. Remember what you told me about the Black Sun Station. What Falex did there. While the war went on, while I was in hiding so the clone could do his work, I looked into what Theahmin said. No, not said, implied. She told me it was not safe for “someone like him” to be off Taureas II. And then there was something Alf noticed; that there were no children to be seen anywhere in the capital city of that world.’

Nick didn’t like the sound of that. ‘Then why send him back?’

‘Because of what I discovered. Nice coffee, don’t you think?’ the Doctor asked abruptly, even though he’d yet to pick his cup up.

Nick knew this one. Deflection. He’d seen it practiced many times; heck, he’d done it enough with Falex, especially after he’d thought the Doctor had died and Falex continued to barrage him with questions.

He sat back and folded his arms. ‘This isn’t going to work on me. I’ve been without you for months; I almost died! Lost the use of my legs.’

Now it was the Doctor’s turn to furrow his brow. ‘What? But you’re…’

‘Implants.’ Nick sat forward again, and picked up his cup. ‘Let me tell you what happened on JS-439,’ he said, and outlined the events that led to him being crippled, and the subsequent implants given to him by the Martian surgeon Zylarx, and then the best Draconian cyberneticists who fixed them after the war. While he did this, he sipped the coffee. It was a strong taste, quite unlike anything he’d ever tasted before.

‘No other planet has ever come up with anything like coffee,’ the Doctor pointed out. ‘Oh, there’s worlds which claim to have drinks called coffee this and coffee that, but none quite have the right kind of beans. Remind me to take you the early 21st Century sometime. Coffee seems to be the taking over the Earth by 2011.’

Nick chewed his lip. ‘I don’t think Cybermen really have a taste for coffee,’ he said, trying to keep his tone light, but it was difficult when he remembered how many had died because the Cybermen.

‘Yes. I keep forgetting. Need to get used to this again.’ The Doctor finished his drink. ‘What about Alf?’

Nick nearly spilt his drink; such was the unexpected way in which the Doctor had changed the topic. He eyed his mentor. Had Alf been talking to him? No, of course not, she wouldn’t have had the chance. Unless it was before the war… only, there was nothing to tell the Doctor then.

Was there even something to tell him now? Nick wasn’t so sure. But he remembered the way Alf had massaged his shoulders before the ceremony on Draconia…

‘Erm, what about her?’

‘She’s only with me because I am the only link to her past. But she doesn’t belong with me, nor does she belong on Alpha Centauri. That life was forced on her by the Dommervoy.’

‘Seems to me, mate, the entire last year was forced on all of us.’

‘That is true.’ The Doctor pulled the amulet out of his pocket. ‘Nothing.’

‘What do you think that portal thing was?’

‘No idea, Nick. But whatever it was, it was powerful enough to pull us off course.’

Nick stood up. ‘Then maybe we should head back to the cemetery? Can’t sit here drinking coffee all day.’

The Doctor beamed at him. ‘That’s the spirit, Nick! Now we’ve cleared the air, let’s go and make ourselves useful while Alf is off recollecting.’

At the mention of Alf, Nick paused. The Doctor stopped in the doorway and looked back.

‘What is it?’

‘You don’t think Alf will want to stay here, do you?’

The Doctor thought about it for a second. ‘I don’t know, Nick, that’s up to her.’

Nick sighed inwardly. Yeah, it was…

*

There was definitely something familiar about the place, almost as if she were visiting somewhere she had grown up in and only had a vague memory of. Which, Alf considered, wasn’t that far from the truth.

She had distant snatches of London, as she was now realising. Passing through the various tube stations on the way from Highgate to Oxford Street awoke certain feelings in her.

There was nothing too specific, just a sense that she had been on a similar journey before. A child bored out her head, while a woman sat beside her, head buried in a magazine. Presumably her mother. Someone who encouraged strong feelings in Alf, either way.

She stepped out of Oxford Circus Station and looked around. So many people!

People like her. Humans! For so long it had only been her. Sure there were plenty of humanoid races in the Galactic Federation, those who looked almost human, but even Nick, the closest to human she had found out there, wasn’t really human. During their long mission to find those spies for the Cybermen, the Doctor had explained a little something about Nick. That he’d once been part of this almost-omnipotent race called the Millennium People, but something had happened that had turned him human. Or at least a close approximation of one. That should have bothered Alf, but living on Alpha Centauri tended to expand one’s horizons. Some of her best friends had been non-human. People she respected, and trusted. But at least being around Nick, and to some extent, the Doctor, made Alf feel a little closer to her own people.

Now here she was. Once again on Earth, surrounded by real human people!

She set off down Oxford Street…

She set off down Oxford Street, looking for somewhere to eat real greasy, unhealthy food. The kind only humans could make.

A number 88 bus passed her by, and she looked up at it. Snatches of memory came back to her. She could see herself as a young girl, with a bunch of other girls, on a bus as it drove up Oxford Street, intent on visiting Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus. She was sitting next to the window, looking down at the sea of people, while a brown girl chatted to her. They were laughing about something, although Alf could not remember what. She thought hard. That girl – her best mate. What was her name?

It was frustrating, but at least it was a memory. Alf smiled. Thanks, Doctor, she thought, a real trip down memory lane.

As she walked she noticed the bill-posts pasted to closed shop fronts. She had seen similar things on the trains. It was an imitation of the Kitchener posters used in 1914, a recruitment campaign of the First World War (she dimly recalled learning about this in History at Greenford Secondary School – more random memories!).

UNIT WANTS YOU, it said in bold letters, with JOIN THE UNITED NATION’S ARMY! GOD SAVE THE KING written underneath in a smaller font.

Ever since she’d entered Archway Station Alf had the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. These posters confirmed it. She had never heard of UNIT, and since when did Earth have a United Nation’s Army?

Then there was the mention of a king… Alf was pretty sure that the UK had a queen in 1986.

She shook her head and continued walking. Maybe the Doctor could explain it later. For now she wanted a good old fashioned burger.

*

A man walked a few feet behind Alf, unseen by her. Short blonde hair and eyes like blue steel, he followed her, unable to believe what he was seeing.

He smiled. He knew this was a different world from Styria, but it still felt familiar to him, as strange as it might be. Full of machines, carriages without horses, and people wearing the strangest clothes. It was, he thought, the perfect place to hide.

Until he saw her.

For a moment he thought the blood countess had followed him, that she too had discovered one of those magic doors, but as he reached out his mind he felt nothing. No presence at all. The young woman, although an exact double, was empty.

Yet, somehow, she looked just like the Countess Dorothea.

And so he followed her, intrigued, memories of their short-lived marriage filling his mind.

*

Nick buckled but the Doctor caught him before he hit the ground. Nick took a deep breath and steadied himself. He looked at the Doctor, and saw the sympathetic smile.

‘The implants?’ the Doctor enquired.

Nick wasn’t so sure.

Yes, pain from the implants was a constant, one his the pain-centre of his brain was getting used to. Like an itch he could not scratch. This was different.

‘Ain’t got a Scooby,’ he said, rubbing his legs.

The Doctor nodded, then blinked. ‘A what?’

‘A Scooby. Scooby-Doo. Clue. You know.’

‘Oh. Rhyming slang. Okay. Well, come on, let’s uni.’ The Doctor smiled at his own cleverness but Nick only looked confused. ‘University don, move on?’

Nick smiled through the pain, and raised his eyebrows. ‘You made that up.’

‘I did not!’

Nick laughed, folding his arms. ‘Yes you did.’

‘I… did, yes.’ The Doctor cleared his throat and glanced down to the pavement below him. He looked up with a cheeky grin. ‘Right. You fit enough to carry on?’

‘Thanks,’ Nick said, realising what his friend was attempting to do. He practiced running on the spot. ‘Yep, all systems go.’

‘Come on then.’

*

Alf bit into the quarter pounder with relish, and chewed. It was amazing! She didn’t even mind the sharp taste of the pickled gherkin; it just felt good to eat real Earth food again. The Doctor had done his best back on Alpha Centauri, but it hadn’t been the same.

She looked out of the window as she chewed. People continued about their business, unaware of the phenomenal moment Alf was having. To her, that only made things even more incredible.

For the first time in ages she felt truly alive. Vibrant!

She blinked. Across the road she thought she saw… She looked closer.

Nah, it couldn’t have been. Although it did look like Nick. Their eyes connected and the man looked away.

She closed the polystyrene burger box and picked up her milkshake. She could have sworn it was Nick – even though he was dressed in some ancient looking clothes, and his hair was short.

As Alf moved from the table she bumped into a McDonald’s crewmember. ‘Oh, sorry,’ she said, then stopped.

Beneath the cap there was no mistaking the rounded face. It was Alf. Younger, less worn, but Alf nonetheless. The younger looked at the elder with equal surprise.

‘Gordon Bennett!’ the younger exclaimed.

*

The rest of the walk to Highgate Cemetery was uneventful. They passed the obelisks that gated the shaded lane, and Nick pointed to one of the nearby tombs. On the wall next to the iron door hung an inverted torch.

‘What’s with the torches, Doctor?’

‘They are an ancient symbol of death. Indeed, according to old Earth mythology…’ He tailed off and pulled the amulet out of his pocket.

In the centre a sapphire glow emanated.

In the centre a sapphire glow emanated.

‘It’s back!’ he said, his bearded face lighting up. He set off at run.

Nick watched him hare off and groaned. Why does he need to run around so much? Bracing himself for the pain, Nick set off at a brisk jog after the Doctor. His route took him through the two rings of catacombs. As soon as he emerged from the inner ring Nick came to an abrupt stop.

The Doctor stood there, a look of total disbelief on his face. Nick looked beyond the Doctor to the portal that hung before the massive cedar tree.

A man was standing by the portal, looking around as if dazed by something. He was dressed in clothes from a simpler time.

A man from their past.

The Doctor stepped forward and held a hand out. ‘Bradley?’ he asked, his voice choked.

The young man turned to look at the Doctor. Nick took a step back. There was no doubt about it, the man before them was Bradley DeMars – one time companion of the Doctor, and a man who had died on Nova Mondas in 2101. Nick remembered it clearly.

This was not good.

‘Erm, hi,’ Bradley said.

*

Alf stepped back and looked herself over. She could not believe it. Then it came to her. Summer 1986, and with a month to go before her sixteenth birthday she had been doing work experience in McDonald’s on Oxford Street. She had hated it.

‘Ere, how come you look like me?’ asked the younger Alf. She peered closer. ‘You are me, ain’t you?’

‘Yeah.’ Alf was not sure what to say.

Young Alf grinned. ‘I knew it! Knew I wasn’t from Earth, no way I’d be from that naff family. Time travel,’ she asked.

All the name badge said was ‘trainee’. Alf shook her head. She needed to know something important. The most important thing ever. ‘What’s my name?’

‘What? You don’t know? But you’re me…’

‘From a future where you’ve lost your memory.’

Young Alf looked crestfallen. ‘Brilliant.’ She shook her head. ‘Well, I know what it ain’t. It ain’t Dorothy, that’s for sure.’

Dorothy. Yes, that sounded right somehow. Only there was something else that came with the name. A sense of disappointment.

‘Call me Ace, that’s what everyone else calls me.’

‘Ace?’ Alf repeated the name to herself. She thought back to the jacket that she had left in Earth’s Pride. There used to be a name on the back of it, but all that was left was an ‘A’. When Vasek had suggested she call herself Alf, she’d figured that made sense of the ‘A’. But now… She reached out for the girl. ‘Listen! You have to tell me…’

Alf’s hand connected with Ace’s shoulder and time seemed to stand still around them. They blinked in unison.

There was a crackle of energy and the two of them hit the floor together.

Ω

Kuang-Shi © 2002, 2012 by Andy Frankham-Allen, All Rights Reserved

‘Time Amulet’ design © 2012 by Mark Pilbeam/Frankallen Books

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New Legacy Title

Followers of this blog, and indeed my writing, will be aware of Legacy… But for those who new, here’s the brief lowdown.

Legacy began in 2001 as a fan fiction based on Doctor Who, it ran for the next five years until mid-2006 when Matrix Revelation was published. By the end it was well-known, with some of the best fan writers involved. During the course of it’s initial run, I became a professional author myself, having had published two official Doctor Who short stories and a Space: 1889 audio drama produced. Legacy has never really left me, and in 2010 I set myself a new task. To totally revamp the series, fix things (and there were a lot of things to fix, especially in the first two seasons!), and self-publish them, while at the same time raising money for Cancer Research UK. I was doing well with them up until September last year, when my professional writing took over. As a result it’s taken me almost a year to get the next book released – that’s quite a gap for those waiting on the end of season two.

Well, the wait is over.

I can finally announce that Legacy 2.3 is out. And an epic tale it is, too! The final battle between the combined might of the Galactic Federation and the Martian Empire against the most awesome army of Cybermen ever devised. Hanging in the balance, the fate of Nova Mondas (or, as it was once known, Earth!), and Mars. To win, a great sacrifice will have to be made, and it’s one only the Doctor can make…

The book is only £5.25, plus p&p, and available direct from Lulu Distributions. As mentioned above, the series is published to raise money for Cancer Research UK. No profit is made by me or anyone involved from this venture.

This is the fifth title in the series, so for those of you who’ve entered the game a little late, all titles are still available HERE

 

Here’s an excerpt from Cost of War;

Christmas 2001, Portland, Oregon USA.

The doctor walked into the room. It was a small cream box, with a tiny window and a single camping bed against one wall, the only other furniture being a small table, with a large pile of sheets on it, and a tiny metal framed chair. The cushions on the chair had been worn down by hundreds of people before it had been moved in here, and the colour was lost and the fibre of the cushions frayed.

The patient sat on the camping bed, watching the sky out of the window. The doctor walked over to the sheets of paper. He’d seen most of them before but some of them were new. They were still filled with endless scrawlings of nonsense. The symbols on the page made no sense, as though they were a mimicry of writing, without the basic understanding of the principles behind it.

And yet the patient still demanded more and more paper – he tried time and again to write out the story he told to the doctor every week, practising to see if the ability would return to him, to see if he would suddenly learn to write.

‘Hello, Roger.’ The doctor tried to attract the patient’s attention.

‘Hello, Dr Cooper.’ The man continued staring out of the window.

Cooper got irritated. ‘What are you looking at?’ He tried to keep his annoyance out of his voice.

‘The sky.’

The doctor moved in to look out the small window behind him. ‘It’s very cloudy today, isn’t it? Like a storm is coming.’

‘The sky knows.’

‘Pardon?’ This comment threw Doctor Cooper.

‘The sky knows that something is going to happen.’

‘What is going to happen?’

For the first time Roger turned to look at him. A look of pain shot across his face. ‘I can’t say.’

‘Okay then.’ The doctor had got used to Roger’s odd behaviour. He had been morose for weeks, as though he was aware of some great sadness no one else had realised.

‘But…’ said Roger, obviously not finished, ‘it’s important I finish telling my story today.’

‘Why?’ Doctor Cooper was intrigued. The patient was usually so concerned that he got all the details of the narrative right. To place a time constraint on his story telling was very out of character.

‘Because I won’t be able to soon.’

The doctor tried to keep the sympathy from showing on his face. ‘Why haven’t you written it down?’

‘Don’t you think I’ve been trying?’ Roger pointed in irritation at the sheets on his table. ‘Don’t you think I’ve wanted to? This brain wasn’t built for my mind. I’ve been trying to use it, to translate my thoughts onto paper, but I just can’t get the language centres to work right. On the page, it all comes out as nonsense.’

The doctor thought it was best to nip this in the bud – maybe he could try once again to point out a flaw in this man’s story, show Roger that he can’t be right?

‘Why did you “download” yourself into this body then?’

‘Because I wanted to tell the story – the story deserved to be told. I had to download myself into an empty mind, into someone who would be ready to receive me. I couldn’t wipe an innocent mind to tell my story. To tell their story.’

‘So are we nearly at the end?’

Roger nodded solemnly. ‘Very nearly. There’s only one bit left.’

‘So…’ Doctor Cooper examined his notes from last time. The story’s main character, the Doctor, was on the home planet of the monsters. An authority figure attempting to wipe out chaos; a typical delusion. It was the other characters and details in the narrative who were the interesting parts. ‘Is Nick still on Mars with Falex?’

‘Yes. Alf is with the Draconians in space and the Doctor is on Nova Mondas.’

Another interesting thing was the fact that Roger had included himself in the narrative at one point. However, his inclusion had resulted in him awaking in the mind of a human in a mental institution, ready to tell his story. It was unusual for a dementia like this not to place much more importance on his own role in the story. However, it was partially true. The patient had just woken up one day last year and insisted on being called Roger, and that he had a story to tell.

‘So. Where are we going to begin today?’

‘On Mars.’

‘With Nick?’

‘Yes.’

‘So where exactly are we on Mars?’

Roger looked pained again for a moment, as though trying to think of where to begin. ‘In something called the GodEngine.’

‘GodEngine?’

He looked uncomfortable again, as though he was sad at doing such a bad job of telling the story. ‘Yeah. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all later…’

Legacy 1.1: Requiem

It’s here!

I am very pleased to announce that volume 1.1 of Legacy is now officially available in print. Requiem collects the first half of season one stories, from The Catalyst right through to The Flames of Chambrook. That’s 188 pages of Doctor Who action!

Followers of this blog will be familiar with a few of the stories, as I’ve run them on here recently. However, as an incentive for buying the print edition, it includes two stories not published on this blog. First up we Greg Miller’s The Ugly Bug Ball, a story which originally saw ePublication in 2006, and secondly we have The Flames of Chambrook from the imagination of A. R. Montacruz. This story is an exclusive to Requiem – although originally written in 2006, it never got finished in time and has thus never been seen nor read by anyone other than the editors.

Requiem is being published by Frankallen Books, and distributed by Lulu. It costs £5.25; but for the first week only it’s going for £4.99! As a labour of love, the contributors do not make a penny from the publication of this book, and all royalties go directly to Cancer Research. So, in effect, not only are you buying a series of interesting stories, but you’re also helping those suffering from cancer.

Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen, Greg Miller and Elizabeth Medeiros, Requiem features stories by Andy Frankham-Allen, Christoph Lopez, Niall Turner, Greg Miller and A. R. Montacruz, with an exclusive foreword by Montacruz and a cover by Andrew Orton.

You can buy it directly from the Requiem page…

A small note; I shall be running more season one Legacy stories in the new year, as a lead in to volume 1.2…

Legacy #7; ’70s Cutaway

Previously on LEGACY - Three Night Engagement.

Not for the first time that afternoon, Doctor Langton found himself wondering about drugs. He’d already seen two of his regular methadone patients and had handed out the usual scripts.  The man sitting in front of him now wasn’t obviously asking for methadone or anything like it, yet his behaviour certainly mirrored that of someone experiencing a chemical come down.

‘You don’t understand,’ said the man for the umpteenth time.

Yes, thought Doctor Langton, he’s finally going to come right out and say it.

He leaned forward expectantly, fascinated to see that his patient did literally appear to be wringing his hands. A drop of sweat fell heavily onto the blotter pad on top of the desk.

‘I can’t go to sleep you see,’ continued the man.

Okay, so maybe he wasn’t going to bare all, at least this was getting somewhere.

The man fixed him with an unnervingly intense stare, now speaking slowly and deliberately. ‘You don’t have to look at me like that, I know what I’m doing, you know? Doctors…’ He laughed, a short, harsh sound. ‘This decade is so lame, I’m glad I missed it first time round…’ He stopped dead, aware of what he’d just said.

Scratch the drugs, thought Doctor Langton, definite mental health case. Or maybe both. And I’m in here alone with him. Fantastic.

The man sighed heavily, looking distractedly at one of the watercolours on the office wall. Doctor Langton took the opportunity to ease his chair back a few inches from the desk.

‘Look, forget that,’ said the man, noticing the movement.

‘It’s okay,’ began Doctor Langton, in what he hoped was a calm and reassuring tone.  ‘Can you tell me how long you’ve been having trouble getting to sleep?’

‘What?’ snapped the man fractiously.

‘You said you’d been having trouble sleeping.’

‘No, no, I don’t want to go to sleep.  Sleeping is the problem.’ He fixed Doctor Langton with an impassioned look. ‘I can’t sleep.  Not now. If I do, I’m as good as dead. You’ve got to help me!’

Doctor Langton cleared his throat, trying to think of an appropriate response.  None came immediately to mind, beyond notifying social services.

The man stood up abruptly, coming round the desk to lean over the doctor. Without meaning to, Doctor Langton also stood up, backing his chair noisily into the wall.

‘Oh, come on!’ His patient was looking at him petulantly, and his eyebrows rose archly. ‘You think I’m crazy, don’t you?’

Before Doctor Langton could respond, the young man appeared to slip rapidly back into quite floridly psychotic speech.

‘They’ve probably got the Doctor already. I’ve got to do something and I can’t afford to go to sleep. Do that and they’ve got me.’ He looked up abruptly. ‘You must have some kind of one-shot system stimulant?’

Doctor Langton could only shake his head by way of reply.  He wondered what age the man was. Early to mid twenties? It was a sad case. ‘I can see you’re under considerable stress,’ Doctor Langton heard himself say eventually.

‘Oh go on, say it,’ muttered the man in a dejected tone.

‘Say what?’ wondered the doctor.

‘I’m mad,’ said the man, running a hand through his black hair. ‘I am, you know.’ And he smiled, a little unnervingly. ‘If I understand it right, I go to sleep now and the whole of reality buys the farm. Me too, come to think of it,’ he finished a little disconsolately. ‘Oh well.’ He held out his hand, which Doctor Langton took a little uncertainly. ‘It’s been fun. Have a nice life.’ With that, he turned on his heel and was gone.

‘Yes, well…’ Doctor Langton continued to lean against the wall for a moment, regaining his composure.  Eventually he sat down and pressed the intercom on his desk. ‘Jean, could you come in here a minute?’

A few seconds later his secretary, Jean Brooker, entered the room, smiling enquiringly.

‘Is everything all right, Ian? We could hear raised voices in reception.’ She lowered her voice confidentially. ‘He left in ever such a hurry you know.’

‘That’ll be reality running out,’ said Ian Langton, nodding sagely to himself.

‘Oh.’ Jean looked flummoxed.

‘I’m sorry, Jean.’ He rubbed his eyes tiredly, aware he still had another six patients to see. ‘Chap was definitely a few cards short of a full deck.  I need to put a call through to social services before I see anyone else. What was his name again?’

‘DeMars,’ said Jean with a frown. ‘American I think. He didn’t give a first name.’

‘Okay, thanks, Jean.’

‘No problem.’

As he began to dial, Ian Langton smiled wryly to himself. He’d only agreed to see the chap as a favour; he wasn’t even on the books.  Ah well, no peace for the wicked.  He stared out into the reception area.

*

Unseen by Doctor Langton, Jean Brooker or the bored patients in reception, a needle limbed creature hung upside down from the reception’s wall mounted clock by its feet.  Button eyes stared as it mouthed a soundless ‘Tick’ then ‘Tock’ in an absurd call and response.  Swinging serenely to and fro, a malignant pendulum, it grinned a rictus grin.

*

Mooching dejectedly down the road Brad reflected that his doctor’s appointment could, on the whole, have gone better.  Trouble was he’d never particularly liked or trusted doctors, with the one honorary exception. So why he’d actually come up with such a stupid plan in the first place was a moot point. Desperation perhaps? Yep, he thought that pretty much covered it.  Those last minutes in the TARDIS had been pretty surreal. Well, more surreal than usual.

He’d been headed for the control room, intent on talking to the Doctor about Jacen. In fact, he’d got to the control room, he was sure of it. The Doctor had grinned a greeting, no, scratch that, they’d even started talking.

Then it had happened.

There was an ear-splitting shriek and buzzing globules of what looked like TV static had started spilling from the scanner. Operating controls frantically the Doctor had engaged ‘Emergency Materialisation’, stuffed a bag of unfamiliar notes and coins into Brad’s hands and literally bundled him out of the doors.

‘Construct bounty hunters,’ he’d said in a stage whisper, then raised a theatrical finger to his lips.

‘Construct what? Doc, what the hell’s happening here?’

‘Construct bounty hunters, they’re trying a time jump.’ He’d paused, looking up and down the unfamiliar street.  ‘I’ll try and put them off the scent.’ Then he had given Brad the ‘deadly serious look‘. It was so absurdly pretentious it couldn’t be anything but deadly serious.  ‘Whatever you do, don’t go to sleep.  Reality’s liable to break down without you and I’ve not got the leads for a jump-start.’

‘What?’

The Doctor just grinned his enormous half-moon grin.  ‘You’ll be magnificent, Bradley, I know you will!’ With that he was gone, the TARDIS vanishing with its familiar asthmatic trumpeting.  A final sentence seemed to hang on the air.  ‘I’ll be back!’

And that had been it.  Now, having spent nearly forty-eight hours in London, 1975, Brad had had enough.

Who were these bounty hunters? Would they be coming for him too?

Finding himself standing outside a newsagent, he rummaged in his pockets, stuffed with various denominations of legal currency. Plus, he noted forlornly, a TARDIS homing device. Much good it would do him.

Locating a crumpled one pound note he pushed open the shop door.

*

Inside it was dark, cool and blissfully quiet compared to the street outside.  Garish racks of confectionery jostled for space alongside newspapers, magazines and sundry household items.  Wondering vaguely how a packet of dusters might help him save reality, Brad’s gaze settled on the rows of chocolate bars with their various unlikely names.

‘You got ten pence mister?’ Looking down Brad saw an Afro-Caribbean kid in denim, all of six years old, staring hopefully up at him.

‘Hey you!’ growled a white haired old shopkeeper from the back of the store.  ‘I’ve warned you before. Hop it!’

‘Hey, it’s cool.’ Brad raised his hands in a placating gesture, found a coin and gave it to the boy.

‘You shouldn’t encourage ’em,’ the shopkeeper rumbled.

‘Hey, seeing as he’s going to spend it in your shop, I don’t see why you’re complaining,’ Brad said tartly.

‘Smartarse.’

‘Yeah, right, whatever,’ Brad muttered as the shopkeeper proceeded to serve the boy.

He grabbed himself a random handful of chocolate. Definitely needed the sugar. Coffee would be good, too. ‘Hey, do you sell…’ He tailed off.

The shopkeeper had the boy’s coin and was inserting it into some sort of indentation on top of the cash register. Weird looking cash register come to think of it.  A look passed between the boy and the man.

‘Definite match?’ the boy asked.

‘Definite.’ The shopkeeper nodded. ‘DNA strand’s unmistakeable.’

They both turned to face him, eyes glowing a luminescent green.

Brad dropped the chocolate.

How come it was he who got to walk into the only trapped alien newsagents in the whole damn world?

‘Hope you’re not thinking of going anywhere,’ said the shopkeeper, turning a weirdly glowing ball of energy in his hand.

‘Big price on your head, man,’ added the boy nonchalantly.

‘You’re Construct bounty hunters, right?’ Brad saw a grin pass between them.

‘Well,’ said the old guy, tossing the ball from hand to hand.  ‘We are. But the contract’s changed.’

Brad didn’t need to hear the rest. As the ball of light hurtled towards him he wrenched at the central rack of shelving. Stumbling backwards out of the door he saw the middle of the store was now a mess of items encased in a web of viscous light strands.  He ran.

*

Soon he was aware of shouting from behind him.  The old man and the boy were in pursuit. In the middle of the air, balanced like surfers on futuristic skateboards, zipping in and out of the traffic.  They were gaining fast.  Brad went to catch at the arm of a traffic warden, but his hand went straight through the warden.

‘Don’t know you’re there, man,’ mocked the boy.  ‘Playing by different rules now.’

Brad stared wildly from side to side. The boy swooped overhead, turning for an attack, another ball of energy to hand.  Brad ducked sharp left, into the stairwell of a multi-storey car park. The familiar smell of urine and rubbish hit him. Lifts or stairs, lifts or stairs? One of the lifts was opening.  Brad stared.

It was the Doctor.

‘Well, come on!’ his friend boomed.

Brad needed no further encouragement.

*

Inside the lift he turned to the Doctor and stared again.  He was in the console room. The Doctor grinned triumphantly.

‘Yes, the chameleon circuit’s operational!’ He nodded to himself. ‘I would have done it sooner but necessity often proves the mother of invention.’ He grabbed Brad by both hands. ‘It’s good to see you, Bradley!’

‘You too, Doc, you too.  Now can you please tell me what’s going on?’

The Doctor beamed, plucking the homing device from his jacket pocket. ‘A small matter of splitting our resources. I had to throw the Construct off the scent, so I dropped you off and –’

‘You did what?’

‘I dropped you off and –’

‘You were using me as a decoy!’

The Doctor nodded, eyes gleaming. ‘If you like, yes. And a very good one too! Well done, Bradley!’

Brad sighed. ‘Great.’ He noticed the central column was moving. They were in flight again. ‘So what are the Construct again?’

The Doctor waved a hand. ‘Oh, creatures of pure causality.  With the causal nexus unravelling, and me being at the centre of it, those that watch such things have doubtless declared open season on us. The two you just met are Bartholomew and Anotyne.  Very dubious company.’

‘It just gets better,’ said Brad.

‘Yes, yes.’ The Doctor grinned in delight.  ‘It’s wonderful to feel wanted, isn’t it?’

‘No,’ said Brad pointedly.

The Doctor gaped. ‘I’m sure you can’t mean that. Oh, that’s interesting.’

‘What is?’

‘We’ve arrived somewhere else already.’ The Doctor operated the scanner. They were on top of a multi storey car park. In 1975 judging by the two figures hovering a good ten feet above the roof.

‘Tranquillisers,’ said Brad.  ‘I should have asked that guy for tranquillisers.’

‘Bradley, be a star and distract them would you?’ the Doctor asked. He was staring thoughtfully at the central column. ‘If they’re operating a linear inductor the only option’s to bypass it with a randomiser.’ He met Brad’s gaze. ‘It’ll take a minute. It won’t take them too long to get in here and I hate interruptions when I’m working.’

‘Right,’ said Brad.  ‘I’ll go and do the distracting thing.’

*

He found himself getting out of the passenger seat of a chrome blue Land Rover. This chameleon thing seemed to be working.  Turning he saw the bounty hunters hovering over the far wall of the car park. Brad backed around the Land Rover and looked over the rim of the wall. At least a hundred and fifty feet down. The boy was approaching at alarming speed, a shimmering ball of energy crackling in his hand.

‘Hey, so who are you?’ called Brad weakly.  ‘Bartholomew or Anotyne?’

A grin was all he got by way of reply. The skateboard sped closer. Heart pounding Brad took a step forward. The boy brought his arm up, bowling underarm.  Brad grabbed for him.

Confusion.

Brad fell heavily, very heavily, at first he thought the kid was on top of him but it was the skateboard thing.  It was incredibly heavy for something so small, an absolute deadweight.  Struggling up Brad saw the boy prone against the wall.  The light ball had exploded around him. A tracery of luminescent lines seemed to be eating in to him.

With an electrical fizz, boy and light disappeared.

‘You got Anotyne! You’ll pay for that!’ The old guy was incredulous.

So was Brad to be honest, but his shoulder and side were aching too much to think clearly.  Now white hair was coming for him.  The driver’s side door was opening.  The Doctor leaned out.

‘Bradley, strap yourself in!’

Brad stumbled to the passenger door.  Buckling himself in, his stomach lurched as the Doctor performed what felt like a three hundred and sixty degree turn. Bartholomew was very close now; Brad could see him in the wing mirror.

‘Time for the unstoppable force to meet the immovable object!’ announced the Doctor. And drove straight for Bartholomew.  Head on.  At the last minute Bartholomew seemed to realise the Doctor was serious and tried to swerve.  It was too late.  There was a clang of impact from the roof and the bounty hunter went sailing over the edge of the car park, complete with skateboard. There was an unnatural silence.  Brad shook his head.  He wasn’t sure if he felt like crying or laughing. The Doctor placed a hand on his shoulder.

‘What the hell is happening?’ said Brad.  ‘Did we kill them?’

The Doctor shook his head. ‘Not a chance. They’ll have reverted to causal particles. They were over confident, that’s all.  We were lucky.’

‘Right.’ Brad became aware he was sitting in the front of a Land Rover. ‘Hey, the TARDIS?’

‘Emergency reconfiguration,’ said the Doctor simply. ‘Inserting a randomiser is a devil of a job, Bradley. We need to lie low for a while, let the temporal trail go cold.’ Gunning the engine he headed for the exit ramp and the next level. ‘So,’ he said, his eyes sad and his smile serious.  ‘Tell me about Jacen.’

Brad looked down, noticing a newspaper in the well by his feet. He picked it up and looked it over; apparently something called UNIT was due to make a world shattering announcement tomorrow.

‘Bradley?’

Brad squirmed in his seat.  Before the Doctor had chucked him out to be decoy, Brad was all for telling the Doctor about Jacen; he even had a plan of how to save his friend. But now… He sighed.  The Doctor wouldn’t let this one go, he had that look on his bearded face.

‘Okay,’ Brad said, and began talking.

*

Brad talked and the Doctor listened.  As he talked, he felt a weight lift from his mind. Nothing changed but he felt easier just for having talked it through out loud.

A good two hours later they were parked high above the suburbs to the south west of the city.  The Thames sprawled lazily far below them.

‘You know, it’s weird,’ said Brad, ‘I can’t even remember the sound of his voice, y’know, what he was like. That’s got to be wrong.’

The Doctor seemed to smile at a private memory.

Brad sighed.  ‘You can’t take me back can you?’

The Doctor shook his head.  ‘I might be able to take you back in the normal course of things but I still couldn’t change what happened.’

It was Brad’s turn to shake his head. ‘But look what’s happening to you.  I mean, if that isn’t someone messing around with time…’

The Doctor laughed a short, uncharacteristically mirthless sound. Brad looked closely at his face in profile. There were anger and passion and questions there to match his own.

The Doctor continued to stare ahead, into the dying evening.

Neither of them spoke again for a long time…

To find out what happens next, look out for the soon-to-released collected stories of LEGACY season one, volume one, Requiem. It will be published by Japaf Publishing and distributed by Lulu Distributions. As ever, LEGACY is a non-profit series and the cost of the book covers printing and postage only – the contributors do not make a single penny from it. As an incentive for buying it, though, there will be two exclusive stories to volume one; The Ugly Bug Ball by Greg Miller (previously only available in the limited 2006 e-anthology, The Other Side of Reality), and The Flames of Chambrook by A. R. Montacruz – a never before released season one story!

Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen, Greg Miller & Elizabeth Medeiros.
Cover & Artwork © 2010 by Ewen Campion-Clarke.
'70s Cutaway © 2001, 2010 by Niall Turner,
Legacy © & ™ 2001, 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen. 
Doctor Who © & ™ 1963, 2010 by BBC Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.

 

The online LEGACY adventures will resume New Year’s Day 2011 with The Millennium People, which follows on from the events of Requiem. But until then I shall be running a new weekly serialised novel, exclusive to this blog, called Vampire Knights. The novel will be an experiment, modelled on the early days of LEGACY. It will be written week-by-week with no absolute direction to follow. The story will grow organically, and along the way will feature guest authors – some of whom will be known, others will be fresh new talent.

 

Legacy #6: Three Night Engagement

Previously on LEGACY - Once Upon a Memory

‘Look at me

I opened a door I cannot close

I feel strange winds

Walk into here, open your door.

This is an introduction…’

 

Another night offered Brad a chance. ‘Philosopher’s Stone (or Lapis Philosophorum)’ was about to set up for their first night’s performance at Dante’s.  Formerly a Mongolian grill, Dante’s was a very small bar and musical venue. A plain bar counter, a stage raised about two meters, and about a dozen tables comprised the establishment.

The group was just about getting their drink on. Jacen was a whiskey sour man, Tobias a White Russian swiller. Brad didn’t sit well with hard liquor since he was in fact a dark beer and cannabis aficionado. Jessene, the sessioning violinist, didn’t show.

‘Guess what, man?’ Jacen chirped suddenly over the subdued din of the early bar crowd.

‘What?’ groaned Brad who was pretending to be dim for the moment.

‘I’m a whale!’ Jacen sprayed a mouthful of whiskey all over the table through his pursed lips.

Tobias slugged him forthwith in the bicep.

‘You want me to smack you in the ass, man?’ Jacen leered.

‘Oh, you wish!’

‘Yeah, well screw you, people. Jessene ain’t here and we’re going to have to do an improv show. Bitch’s probably tweaking anyway.’

Bradley was on fire and he didn’t care one whit.  This was it.  He swallowed the last of his beer and cruised over to the bar to check the time.

*

The flimsy curtain parted. With much gravitas stood Jacen with bass strapped on.

‘It’s so nice to see so many faces.  Good evening,’ he drawled, resplendent in his pressed business suit and neatly coiffured platinum blonde hair. His handsome features creased into a scowl behind the microphone as he began.

‘One thing I have to ask. Is it loud enough for you?’ The question was asked as a shrieking exclamation delivered in his baritone voice.

Thus commenced ‘Philosopher’s Stone’s’ first night at Dante’s. The set began with the stage being bathed in a lunar blue light which seemed to cool the feverish and smoke filled club.  Jacen began with a droning yet staccato series of electronically processed chords.  Then he began a simple Latin chant.

Ignit natura renovatur integra.’

Brad initialised a short series of pre-programmed samples as he also began an improvised synth fugue.  Tobias did his part in the proceedings by commencing a shamanic drum beat interspersed by a mighty gong strike.  Later, he would try out his set of Tibetan singing bowls.

Tobias was rude and often painfully surly in his interpersonal dealings.  On stage, his peculiar brand of magic was expressed in his percussion. Brad and Jacen, however, manifested total sublimity – something that pleased Brad no end.

Look at me.

I opened a door I cannot close.

I feel strange winds. The path I chose

This, but an introduction, no more.

Walk into here, open your door.

This is an introduction…

 

Brad sang one of his own songs that first night as well.

What dream has come

Where time has gone?

Stunned, unsummoned and still

Again, I tried to lift up my eyes

And not shield them from the sun,

Again…

*

A fetching and somewhat muscular young woman in an overly decorated bomber jacket turned to speak to her companion.

‘Professor!’ She had to shout over Dante’s PA system as the band played through a delirious second night. ‘Can I get a drink?’

‘Ace, I didn’t procure your ID so you could “catch a buzz”, or whatever you’d call it! Keep a clear head, please.’

Ace glowered at the Doctor.  A thought came unbidden to her of chucking a bar ashtray at him.  It would serve him right just to knock his silly hat off his head.  The Doctor had been so maudlin recently, ever since giving that little bit of life force away to his past self.

‘What are we looking out for, anyway?’ she asked. ‘I thought we were tracking the Master.’  She looked around at the dancing crowd.  ‘I don’t think this is his scene, Professor,’ she pointed out with a smirk.

The Doctor passed Ace a napkin with something scribbled on it.  Two names stood out in the message, whatever it had been.

Brad DeMars and Jacen J. Lewis.

‘What’s this, then?’

‘I’ve no idea. I found it a few hours ago before we got on that Tri-Met bus. It’s coated in temporal residue.’

‘But who are they?’ Ace had to shout again over the chorus of electronic damnation. The Doctor simply pointed at the stage in reply to Ace’s question.  The one with the dark hair caught Ace’s eye. A corner of her mouth twitched into a half-smile. That familiar feeling went through her body again. He was cute. It had been such a long time since she…

‘Can we meet them later, Professor? After the show maybe?’

‘That’s what the intention is.  Not that I really enjoy this sort of music, Ace.’ The Doctor’s tone was that of one discussing a particularly messy surgery. ‘It reminds of me a Ninhana symphony orchestra.  It’s like an incompetent dentist attacking a cavity with a rusty nail,’ he added while gritting his teeth.

*

The ambulance arrived at half past two in the morning. The stressed out bar staff had been looking forward to going home for drinks and bed.  But Jacen had ‘collapsed’ while descending the stage steps.

‘I just tripped, man!’ Jacen screamed at a paramedic.  ‘No! I don’t have any damned insurance! Let me be!’

*

In the narrow alley behind Dante’s, a pool of turgid shadows formed in defiance of the nearby streetlight’s attempt to stand sentry against such things.

‘Tock tock tick,’ said one Dommervoy to its featureless mates.  In unison they softly clapped their stiff semblances of hands together and disappeared back into that portable umbra of theirs.  A solitary thread of violet tinged blackness congealed into the receding anomaly.

A homeless man, who happened to be crouching behind the dumpster, simultaneously went blind.

*

‘What the hell was that?’

The Doctor narrowed his grey eyes, and stepped gingerly into the alley, holding a hand out before him. ‘Temporal disturbance of some kind.’

‘And those puppet things?’ Ace asked.

‘I’m not sure,’ the Doctor growled, pulling his hand back sharply, as if stung. He sucked his fingers, and said around them; ‘thhs pase ss ahive wff tempul ennery.’

‘Come again, Professor?’

The Doctor removed his fingers. ‘This place is alive with temporal energy. Those things must feed off it.’

‘Are they following the Master, too, then?’

‘I have no idea, Ace! Will you stop asking all these questions!’

Ace stepped back in shock. She hadn’t heard him sound so angry since the army barracks in 1941. ‘Sorry!’ she snapped back, and noticed the homeless man stumble from behind the dumpster at the other end of the alley. She pushed past the Doctor. ‘I’m going to help that poor sod over there,’ she said and made her way to the blind tramp.

The Doctor watched her, and raised the handle of his umbrella to his lips. ‘Bradley DeMars, he’s at the epicentre. We musn’t get too close to him again.’ He turned from the alley and called back. ‘Come on, Ace, we need to find the Master another way.’

*

‘I can’t believe this… sea-change,’ groaned Jacen, sprawled on his studio day-bed.

His head had been shaved by the neurosurgeon’s nurse. He wore an eye patch since he’d lost muscular control over his left eye. During the past four months, he had suffered from several more seizures. An MRI scan revealed that a tumour the size of a golf ball was resting on his brain. Subsequently, Jacen endured radiation therapy and ultimately surgery to excise most of the growth.

Brad’s mouth was painfully dry.  He had to say what was on his mind.

‘I just want you to know that I love you. You’ve been my greatest friend and collaborator.’ A bead of sweat trickled behind his ear as he spoke.

‘I know, Bradley Boy. I know. Sorry I can’t return it. Shit, I had enough of a time dealing with Jessene before she went to rehab.  God! You need to give it up.  I hate to see you so frustrated and pissed all the time, man.’

They locked eyes and Brad took Jacen’s weak hand in his own.

Brad knew exactly what Jacen was referring to. The love he held for Jacen was so much more than platonic, sometimes it hurt, and sometimes it lifted him above the clouds.  But most of the time it just hurt ‘cause Brad knew that he could never have Jacen, but at the same time he didn’t want anybody else, either… it was a tough path Brad walked down.

‘It’ll be all right. You’ll be back to your old self soon. Look…’ Brad stopped speaking and took a deep breath in a concerted effort to slow his heart down a little. ‘I have to go before I break down again.’

His chest began to heave as the tears came.  Jacen tousled his hair and rested his good hand on Brad’s shoulder and said; ‘Remember, Requiem; Ignit natura renovatur integra.  The whole of nature is regenerated by fire.’

*

Almost two months later, in the TARDIS, Brad opened his eyes.  Regenerated? Yes! He had it…

*

The Doctor looked up from the console just as the inner door flew open and Brad entered the console room. He couldn’t help but notice that Brad had been crying.

‘Doc, I need your help. I have an idea about how to save Jacen.’

The Doctor was, not for the first time today, quite puzzled.  ‘Jacen? And just who is Jacen, Bradley?’

Next Time

‘You think I’m crazy, don’t you?’

Before Doctor Langton could respond, the young man appeared to slip rapidly back into quite floridly psychotic speech.

‘They’ve probably got the Doctor already. I’ve got to do something and I can’t afford to go to sleep. Do that and they’ve got me.’ He looked up abruptly. ‘You must have some kind of one-shot system stimulant?’

Doctor Langton could only shake his head by way of reply.  He wondered what age the man was. Early to mid twenties? It was a sad case. ‘I can see you’re under considerable stress,’ Doctor Langton heard himself say eventually.

‘Oh go on, say it,’ muttered the man in a dejected tone.

‘Say what?’ wondered the doctor.

‘I’m mad,’ said the man, running a hand through his black hair. ‘I am, you know.’ And he smiled, a little unnervingly. ‘If I understand it right, I go to sleep now and the whole of reality buys the farm. Me too, come to think of it,’ he finished a little disconsolately. ‘Oh well.’ He held out his hand, which Doctor Langton took a little uncertainly. ‘It’s been fun. Have a nice life.’ With that, he turned on his heel and was gone.

‘Yes, well…’ Doctor Langton continued to lean against the wall for a moment, regaining his composure.  Eventually he sat down and pressed the intercom on his desk. ‘Jean, could you come in here a minute?’

A few seconds later his secretary, Jean Brooker, entered the room, smiling enquiringly.

‘Is everything all right, Ian? We could hear raised voices in reception.’ She lowered her voice confidentially. ‘He left in ever such a hurry you know.’

‘That’ll be reality running out,’ said Ian Langton, nodding sagely to himself.

‘Oh.’ Jean looked flummoxed.

‘I’m sorry, Jean.’ He rubbed his eyes tiredly, aware he still had another six patients to see. ‘Chap was definitely a few cards short of a full deck.  I need to put a call through to social services before I see anyone else. What was his name again?’

‘DeMars,’ said Jean with a frown. ‘American I think. He didn’t give a first name.’

‘Okay, thanks, Jean.’

‘No problem.’

As he began to dial, Ian Langton smiled wryly to himself. He’d only agreed to see the chap as a favour; he wasn’t even on the books.  Ah well, no peace for the wicked.  He stared out into the reception area.

*

Unseen by Doctor Langton, Jean Brooker or the bored patients in reception, a needle limbed creature hung upside down from the reception’s wall mounted clock by its feet.  Button eyes stared as it mouthed a soundless ‘Tick’ then ‘Tock’ in an absurd call and response.  Swinging serenely to and fro, a malignant pendulum, it grinned a rictus grin.

To Be Continued… Sat 6th November

Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen, Greg Miller & Elizabeth Medeiros.
Cover © 2010 by Ewen Campion-Clarke.
Three Night Engagement © 2001, 2010 by Christoph Lopez,
Legacy © & ™ 2001, 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen. 
Doctor Who © & ™ 1963, 2010 by BBC Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.

 

Legacy #4: Reality Bomb

Previously on The Legacy; In The Blood


‘Brad?’

‘I feel,’ said Brad, with careful emphasis, ‘sick.’

‘Sick? Sick! Nonsense!’ The Doctor spread his arms wide and laughed a life affirming laugh.  He knelt beside Brad on the floor of the lift as it continued its rapid ascent.

Brad was sure he had left his stomach several floors below.  If the Doctor was not careful he was going to find the contents of Brad’s stomach all over him.

‘Probably still acclimatising,’ said the Doctor, clambering back to his feet.  He reached out a great paw of a hand.  Weakly Brad took it. ‘You see?’ The Doctor’s grin sparkled.  ‘Feeling better already eh?’

Fighting the giddy surge of nausea threatening to poleaxe him, Brad attempted to take in their surroundings. Not a good move. They were blurring past at a rate of about two hundred feet a second. The rapid ascent, the unusual gravity and a hefty tankard of Ossoban Soul Killer were putting a whole new perspective on drowning your sorrows.

Abruptly the lift halted.  Brad leaned back against the smoked glass, fighting the urge to retch. ‘So what are we here for again?’

The Doctor was off ahead of him and he had to run to catch up. ‘Professor Sixela Capricornn,’ came the reply. The Doctor disappeared round a glaringly antiseptic corner.

Brad paused, shaking his head.  The air was sterile and mint fresh and seemed to be taking the edge off his nausea.

‘The antitoxicant filtration works best if you remain still, sir,’ piped a high pitched voice from behind him.  Turning, Brad saw a blue skinned octopus headed creature in official uniform.  Its one eye blinked hugely at him.

‘Uh, thanks for the information,’ said Brad cautiously.  Was he in some kind of trouble here?

‘Information dissemination is my duty, sir,’ returned the creature primly and moved lightly away.  Brad stared.  Its lower half tapered to a point like an ice cream cone and seemed to be hovering a few inches above the floor.

‘Brad!’ boomed a distant voice.

‘Coming,’ said Brad and realised with a shock that his nausea had completely vanished.  He stared at an illuminated sign on the far side of the plaza: LEVEL 337 – RESEARCH & PSIONICS – AUTODETOX ZONE

‘Great,’ he said, spying the Doctor in the distance.  ‘Don’t go getting totalitarian on me will you?’ There had to be a shop where he could buy an ‘I Love the Future’ badge.  With resignation he saw the Doctor was waiting for him by another of the streamlined lifts.  This was not good.  Sober, the prospect just filled him with alarm.

The Doctor was looking at himself in profile in the mirrored panel to one side of the lift.

‘Doctor?’ ventured Brad.

‘This beard…’ The Doctor wheeled around and faced him seriously.  ‘What do you think?’

‘It’s a good one,’ said Brad, wondering if this was going anywhere. Something small and silver flashed past overhead at high speed.  Brad stared after it.

‘Carrier chip,’ murmured the Doctor distractedly. He laughed. ‘Excellent, excellent, I thought as much myself but a second opinion is always valuable.’

‘Glad to be of service,’ said Brad with a smile so unsure of itself it threatened to walk off the other side of his face.

The Doctor guffawed with alarming good humour and clapped him about the shoulders. ‘Like the hair,’ he confided with a glance at Brad’s red bangs, ‘it’s very you.’  He stabbed at a button and the lift doors slid silently open. ‘Shall we?’

*

After three more upward journeys, they reached their destination: LEVEL 2876 – ADVANCED DIVINATION – AUTODETOX & AUTOSEC ZONE

‘This is where we’ll find her,’ breezed the Doctor.  ‘One of the finest minds of her or any era, present company included.’

Brad sighed.

They were in a functional grey corridor, lit imperceptibly from overhead. The Doctor set off to the right with the air of one who knew where he was going. They passed a reception area with another of the octopus creatures in clerical uniform.

‘Good afternoon,’ blasted the Doctor and walked straight past.  With an apologetic smile Brad hurried after him.

A good half hour later they were back at the reception desk and Brad had seen enough grey corridors to last a lifetime.  True, they were futuristic grey corridors but that really was not cutting much mustard with him.

‘Infallible sense of direction?’ asked Brad with a pained look.

‘Exception that proves the rule.’ The Doctor ignored him and beamed at the receptionist.

‘Don’t tell me,’ said Brad. ‘Information dissemination is your duty, right?’

‘That is correct, sir.  I would remind you that, were you to ask me my function, I would be unable to withhold that information under the statutory protocols.’

‘Right,’ said Brad slowly.  ‘Nice.’

‘Professor Sixela Capricornn?’ interjected the Doctor before the conversation could take a further down turn.

‘The professor is currently lecturing in the holo-suite, she will be free at the forty seventh segment,’ said the creature.  Its one eye blinked slowly and changed colour to a shimmering opaque blue.  The image of a similar creature in some kind of high tech lecture hall appeared.

‘Thank you very much,’ said the Doctor. ‘We’ll follow the signs for the holo-suite.’ He glanced at his wrist as they moved off, which showed the notable absence of a watch.  ‘Segment forty seven, which gives us, ooh, two and a half segments to spare.  Fancy taking in some more corridors?’

Brad was not listening.  ‘Who are these TV set tentacle heads?’

‘Fourth Ossoban Republic.  I told you that when we arrived,’ chided the Doctor.

‘Sorry, it slipped my mind,’ said Brad.  While the Doctor had set about ascertaining the location of the Data Tower he had had his Soul Killer moment in one of the lower level IntoxiKafs.  And had promptly forgotten where and nearly who he was for a good two hours.  Or was that segments?

Brad sighed again.

*

‘Here we are!’ The Doctor’s enthusiasm was palpable.  They had arrived outside a set of silvered double doors.  A small wall mounted screen showed a gowned Ossoban lecturing to a good four hundred plus students. ‘This is the one person, the one person,’ the Doctor pummelled the air with his fist for emphasis, ‘who might be able to help us. Temporal anomalies are her speciality!’

‘As in Portland disappearing into the wild blue yonder?’ said Brad.

‘You think that’s where it went?’ The Doctor considered.  ‘Dangerous place the Yonder, especially in the blue phase.  No, I can’t agree.  It doesn’t even exist within linear time.’

Brad wondered whether to slap the Doctor or himself.  He had come down in favour of the latter when he noticed the Doctor heading for the doors.

‘Hey, what are you doing?’ He caught the Doctor by the arm.

‘Might as well sit in,’ said the Doctor.  ‘I think she’s doing singular occlusion in fringe timelines.’ He grinned.  ‘I’ll meet you out here?’

‘Good call,’ acknowledged Brad.

The Doctor vanished inside the hall with a pneumatic hiss of air.  Brad watched the Doctor on the wall screen, as he found his seat, and then he set himself down on one of the low couches opposite.  He glanced idly up and down the corridor.  Away to the right the corridor turned a corner by another, internal, lift.  To the left were a number of alcoves.  The corridor itself disappeared into imperceptible distance.  For want of something better to do, Brad wandered up to the first of the alcoves.  He stared in amazement.

Turning slowly in a beam of turquoise light was the most beautiful, well… He did not know what to call it.  It looked like some perfect hybrid of guitar and synthesiser, fashioned from ebony black and silver.  Four crystalline strings ran the length of the instrument, from body to elegantly fluted neck.  The neck was interesting because there did not appear to be any keys for the ‘strings’.  It simply tapered to a sleek crystalline sphere which seemed to glow with an inner luminescence.

Brad looked up and down the corridor.  It was no good.  He could not resist.  Tentatively he plucked at one of the ‘strings’.  He jerked his hand back as a sharp electric shock ran up his arm.

‘Ow!’

Damn thing must be security tagged in some way.  Not surprising, it was a pricey looking item.

‘Do you wish communion with the host?’

Brad looked about himself. ‘Who said that?’

Maybe the Soul Killer had some kind of audio flashback effect.  With a start he realised the guitar synthesiser had drifted imperceptibly towards him.  ‘So you’re a speaking guitar, right?’

‘We are the Atrexian Host.  We are in communion with the Host world and existing here as a cultural exchange.  You wish for communion, yes? Mind meld can cause much pain to inferior species but is permissible nonetheless.’

‘No, no communion. It’s a mistake,’ said Brad. Under his breath he added: ‘I’m here as a cultural ambassador from planet cock-up.’

The guitar seemed to turn on its axis. ‘Please forgive this misunderstanding.’

‘The apologies are all mine.’

As cultural faux pas went, this one had been pretty hot.

*

Observing this exchange from the lift away to the right was a spindle limbed figure. It stared with night black eyes, letting a placard it carried swing idly from hand to hand.  To the left it read ‘Tick’, back to the right and it said; ‘Tock’.

The Dommervoy grinned a needle grin and snickered to itself.

*

Brad shivered as he made his way back to the couch. The lift doors at the turn of the corridor were sliding closed.  He had not seen anyone get in or out. There was movement on the wall scanner. The Ossoban holo-students were winking out of existence. The Doctor and Professor Capricornn emerged.

‘Professor, this is my good friend Bradley DeMars.’

‘Or just Brad,’ Brad suggested.  Having the Doctor calling him Bradley was one thing, but he didn’t want to be introduced as such.

‘Sorry to have kept you waiting so long,’ trilled the professor.

‘No problem,’ said Brad, a little uncertain. ‘It’s been no time.’

‘You are very gracious,’ said Professor Capricornn. ‘I overran terribly but it is rare to have such an esteemed guest.’

The Doctor attempted to look modest and failed.

*

‘So you see my problem, Professor,’ finished the Doctor.  He had been explaining how he had met Brad and something of subsequent and previous events as they sat around the professor’s hexagonal desk in her office.

The professor nodded imperceptibly, her one eye blinking.  ‘Where, or indeed when, to begin.’

‘Exactly!’ The Doctor was nodding furiously.

‘Of course,’ continued the professor, ‘the primary consideration must be the so called First Law of Time, plus a recognition of those who do not subscribe to the theory.’ She paused significantly. ‘In both principle and practice.’

Great, thought Brad.  That’s made everything really clear.  He stared distractedly out of the window, wondering why his teeth were itching.

*

Outside the window, an invisible paste white figure floated impossibly thousands of feet above the ground. It held twin balloons.  One said ‘Cause’, the other ‘Effect’.  The balloons burst soundlessly.

*

The Doctor was excitedly pacing the office.  He had already done three circuits of the table. ‘So what you’re saying is it’s a matter of narrowing the field of suspects.’ He paused. ‘Still leaves a pretty vast field.’ He patted his ample stomach.  ‘All this application has given me an appetite. Sixela?’ He looked expectantly at the professor.

‘I don’t think she’s listening,’ said Brad.

The Doctor stared. Professor Sixela Capricornn was clearly speaking but no sound was emerging.  She also appeared to be fading away before their eyes.

‘Oh good grief!’ The Doctor looked anguished.  He found he could pass a hand clean through the professor. ‘Reality bomb.  It must have been primed and waiting for the trigger… Some form of nexus point.’ He looked at Brad in horrified realisation. ‘Me, Brad, me! I’m the trigger!’

The effect was now spreading.  Table, walls and floor were fading out. Snaking lines of nothing ran into one another, widening the void.  Brad stumbled away from the table, or what remained of it. The professor had completely vanished. With mounting concern Brad noted the walls and corridor outside were vanishing as well.  He stumbled towards the window.

‘What the hell do we do?’ He was not sure if he sounded or felt more alarmed.

‘We don’t panic in the face of adversity,’ announced the Doctor passionately whilst also backing towards the window.  ‘We shall face this thing together, Bradley!’

‘That’s made all the difference,’ said Brad. He looked desperately about himself and noted a softly glowing panel on the wall by the window.  ‘What’s that?’

‘What?’

‘That!’

‘Oh, call panel for the external lift,’ said the Doctor blithely.

They stared at one another.

‘Try the lift?’ wondered Brad.

‘A superb choice! And perhaps the only one left to us.’ The Doctor gave his companion a thoughtful look.

Brad shook his head in disbelief, and leaned past the Doctor and hit the panel.

*

It had taken agonising seconds for the lift to arrive but arrive it did and they had tumbled inside, the Doctor hitting the descent button. There was no sign of the work of the reality bomb yet but Brad was not counting his chickens.

‘So what is a reality bomb exactly?’ he asked to pass the time.

‘Oh, terrible things,’ replied the Doctor. ‘Outlawed by all the major conventions. The field of effect can be cosmic or very localised. They level the playing field geographically and temporally. Once they’ve activated physically there’s a kind of mental wipe out for anyone within, but not physically destroyed by, the immediate zone of effect…’ He tailed off as the lift came to rest with a gentle bump.

‘What was I talking about?’ he asked with a frown.

‘Don’t know,’ said Brad, shrugging.  ‘Something about talking guitars… No.’ He winced. ‘I feel terrible.  I knew I shouldn’t have tried that Soul Killer stuff.’

‘Oh, you’ve tried the Soul Killer have you?’ The Doctor threw back his head and laughed a life affirming laugh.  ‘Come on, let’s get you back to the TARDIS.  You might want to sleep this one off in the Zero Room!’

The Doctor frowned again and shook his head.  ‘I can’t think what we’re doing on Ossobos for the lives of me…’

Next time…

Music was not a common occurrence in the TARDIS, and certainly not something she tended to play through the communication circuits, but then his ship had been acting oddly in many ways recently.  Not unlike the universe itself, come to think of it.

Still, he had to admit, it was a lovely tune.  Made him feel all thoughtful and relaxed inside.  Mellow.  Reminding him of times past, and friends lost.

He got up and walked over to the console.  ‘Well, old girl, where did you get this tune from?’

In answer the scanner screen activated.  It was an internal image that showed Brad in his room, sitting on the bed, wearing the kilt he’d become so found of, playing his keyboard.

The Doctor smiled.  ‘Ah, Bradley.’


To Be Continued… Saturday  23rd October

Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen, Greg Miller & Elizabeth Medeiros.
Cover © 2010 by Ewen Campion-Clarke.
Reality Bomb © 2001, 2010 by Niall Turner,
The Legacy © & ™ 2001, 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen. 
Doctor Who © & ™ 1963, 2010 by BBC Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.

The Legacy #3: In the Blood

Previously on The Legacy; Urban Decay


‘Brad?’

Brad rubbed his head and opened his eyes.  Looking down at him was the strange man with the beard.  The Doctor? Yeah, that was his name.  But what kind of name was that?

Brad sat up and looked around.  He was sitting on a bed in a large white room.  The chairs and tables seemed to be made of some type of mouldable plastic – it reminded him of those ’50s B-movies, the type that looked towards the future.  Oh yes, very 21st Century – not!

‘Do you know Blackjack?’

Brad looked back at the Doctor.  ‘Huh?’ It was the best he could manage.  The Doctor’s face crumpled into disappointment, so Brad tried a little bit better.  ‘Black who?’

‘Blackjack.’

‘No,’ Brad said slowly, thinking it was probably best to humour the large man, ‘don’t think so. Friend of Black Beard?’

The Doctor waved a set of playing cards in front of Brad’s face.  Brad just shook his head, causing his nuclear red bangs to fall down in front of his eyes. ‘Oh,’ the Doctor mumbled.  He looked around the room, then back at Brad, smiling.  ‘Poker?’ Again Brad shook his head.  ‘Oh,’ the Doctor reiterated.  ‘Oh. Well, not to worry.’ He stood up and walked to the door at the far end of the room.  He looked back. ‘There is a bathroom through there.’ He pointed at an alcove in the corner of the room.  ‘Once you have freshened up come and meet me in the console room. I have something to show you.’ With a final smile, he left the room.

Brad sat there for a few moments.

Had he really fainted? How uncool was that?

Deciding to ignore the sadness of such a reaction, Brad got off the bed and walked over to his big black bag.  He had noticed it next to the table before.  Nice of the Doctor to bring it in with him.

He opened the bag and took a look in there.  Nothing had been taken as far as he could see.  His synthesiser was still there, complete with electrical cables.  He glanced around the room, but could see no sign of a plug socket.

Shit, he thought, let’s hope there is enough power still in the batteries.

He returned to the bag.  The suit he had worn at the funeral was still in there, although it did not seem likely that he would be changing into that.  Not that it was a major deal, of course, all he had to do was freshen himself up and then head back home.

Home? Just thinking about that sent his mind reeling.  Images of Big Pink tilted at an improbable angle, the ripple surging through the grounds west of Willamette River…  He shook his head.  Had he been on some whacked out trip or had it been real? Well, the Doc was obviously real, but it was feasible that he remembered the Doc from a calm moment in-between trips.  Of course, the only dumb thing about that reasoning was that Brad knew he had not taken any drugs for a few days.

He walked through the alcove and found himself in the bathroom.  Well, that is what the Doc called it.  There was a basin that was obviously the toilet, and there was some kind of cubicle.  He opened the cubicle.  Apart from a switch the cubicle was empty.  He flicked the switch, and immediately jumped back, his arm and the front of his sweater all wet.  He glanced at the cubicle with a grin.  Okay, so that was the shower.

He closed the door, and figured it best to ignore the fact that there was nowhere that the water could have come from.

Brad looked around the bathroom as he began to get undressed.  There was bunch of clothes piled in the corner, including what appeared to be a skirt.  The Doc had put him in some chick’s room? Great, thanks for that.

Only there was something familiar about it; the pattern.  It reminded him of a trip he’d taken to Scotland with Jacen some time ago.  It was a kilt, not a skirt.

Brad grinned, and wondered if he should wash it.  There was something sexy about a man in a kilt, and he’d always wanted one himself.  Continuing to remove his clothes Brad decided that he’d ask the Doc about a washer later.

*

The Doctor sat on the floor of the console room, playing cards laid out before him.  It was a simple game, but one that helped him to focus.  A technique he had been taught during his recent trip to Gregoramani at the turn of the First Quarter.  Not that it was working too well at the moment.

He glanced up from the cards as the inner door opened.  Framed in the doorway was Brad.  Still dressed in his jeans and trainers, but now with a black leather jacket worn loosely over a white t-shirt.  His black hair was still a little wet, but it was brushed back, making the red tips merge with the black of his crown.

‘Hello,’ the Doctor said cheerfully, and got to his feet, feeling a lot more nimble now.  His run around the Portland construct had done wonders for settling his body.  He felt ten times fitter than he when he’d arrived in that construct. ‘Feeling better?’

Brad walked into the room.  ‘Yeah, kind of, thanks.’

‘Good.’ The Doctor nodded and went over to the console.  ‘Good. Kind of is actually excellent considering your survival rate.’ He hit a button on the console and turned back to Brad.  ‘Wouldn’t you say?’

Brad thought back to the car crash.  ‘Yeah, if you say so, Doc.’

‘I would indeed.’ The Doctor bellowed out a laugh.  ‘Indeed I would.’ His laugh stopped abruptly, and with a meaty finger he pointed behind Brad.  ‘What do you make of that?’

Brad turned.  There was something a little like a television set up in the top corner of the wall.  On it was the strangest thing Brad had seen.  Well, not strictly true.  Portland being turned into some kind of cyber-induced landscape rated as the strangest, but this was a close second.  Some kind of dark tunnel made of red triangles.  No, not red.  The colours were changing.  Reds, blues, greens… And it was no longer triangles.  Shapes of all kinds.  Brad stepped back, dizzy all of a sudden.

‘Sorry,’ the Doctor said behind him.  ‘Some of those shapes aren’t made for human perception.  What do you make of them?’

‘What, apart from a great cause of epilepsy, you mean?’ The Doctor nodded, seemingly oblivious to Brad’s sarcasm.  ‘Nothing.  Just shapes in a tunnel.’

The Doctor’s face fell.  ‘Oh.’  He smiled.  ‘Oh.  Well the human mind will catch up one day.  It is, in point of fact, the causal nexus of the universal quantum reality.  And it is greatly in flux.’

‘And that is bad?’

‘Very.’

‘The temporal and spatial nexus?’ Brad asked, remembering something the Doctor had mentioned before he had drifted off.  The Doctor nodded, quite pleased.  ‘And it is breaking up?’ Again the Doctor nodded.  Brad thought some more, but he had no idea where he was going with this conversation.  So he gave up.  ‘Means nothing to me, Doc.  Sorry.’

‘Not to worry.’ The Doctor pressed a button and the screen went off.  ‘I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of it one day.’

‘We?’

‘Yes, we.’ The Doctor placed an arm around Brad’s shoulders.  ‘You do realise that you should never have existed in that echo of Portland? It was not mere chance that allowed you to exist, you know.  And neither was it mere chance that allowed you to meet me.  We are destined for great things.  Great things.’

For a moment Brad almost believed him.  Almost.  Hell, it was a nice thing to believe.  After the disasters of late it would be nice to have some kind of hope.  But Brad was not much of an optimist these days.  ‘Okay. So what do we do now?’

The Doctor laughed.  ‘We explore, Bradley.’

Brad chose to ignore the Doctor’s use of his full name; normally only his father used it, but somehow it sounded right coming from the Doctor’s mouth.  ‘Explore? Explore what?’

The Doctor walked past the console and pointed at the central column.  ‘When the TARDIS is in flight – for want of a better word – the time rotor there oscillates.  As you can see, it is quite still now.  It means we have arrived somewhere.’ He climbed into his big brown coat.

A load of questions entered Brad’s mind, but he never got the chance to ask them.  Before he could even open his mouth the Doctor was walking through a pair of double doors.

‘Hey, wait up, Doc,’ Brad called and followed.  What else could he do?

*

Yet again Brad shook his head, clearing the wet bangs from his eyes. Wet? Ha! Soaked more like.

‘Nice spot, Doc. Couldn’t you have found somewhere a little warmer?’ The Doctor seemed to ignore Brad, being quite content to just continue with reading the stained newspaper he had found on the deserted road.  Again, Brad shook his head.  ‘You know, allowing me back into the TARDIS would have been nice. I mean, it’s all right for you.  You have that bear of a coat keeping you dry.  And what do I have? A jacket, not exactly rain wear.’ Brad growled at the Doctor’s back, and took a step forward.

The Doctor spun around, nearly knocking Brad over.  He shoved the paper at Brad.

‘What do you think of that?’

Why was it always questions with the Doc? Brad took the soggy paper and began to peruse the front page. ‘Not a lot.  Nothing familiar.’ He glanced at the date, but the digits made no sense to him.  ‘Where are we, Doc?’

‘Don’t know.  Can’t say I have been here before.’

‘Great,’ Brad muttered.  ‘Just goddamned great.’ He sighed and threw the paper onto the sodden grass by the side of the road.  ‘Are we in England? Looks dirty enough to be England.  And wet enough.  Went to the UK not so long ago, and it rained a lot.’

The Doctor jumped into the air.  For his bulk it was quite a big jump.  ‘Nope.  Not England.  In fact, Bradley, not even Earth.’

‘Excuse me? What do you mean, “not even Earth”?’

‘The gravity is all wrong for Earth.’ The Doctor jumped into the air once more and smiled.  ‘Besides, there is much more to the universe than that one small planet.  So much more to see.’ He put his arm around Brad’s shoulder.  Brad squirmed.  As if he was not wet enough.  ‘Do you know how much I have been to Earth, Bradley?’ the Doctor asked in a whisper. All Brad could do was offer him a blank look in response.  ‘Hmm. Nor me.  But I do know I have been to Earth more times than any other one planet.  I think it is time the Earth looked after itself for a change, don’t you?’ The Doctor winked, and removed his arm.

Brad was stumped.  He watched the Doctor for a while, allowing the big man to walk away from him.  ‘Now wait a minute there, Doc.’ Brad ran up to the Doctor.  ‘What do you mean “not even Earth”? I’ll admit, your TARDIS is pretty cool, and yes, even that Portland went all trippy.  But are you trying to tell me we are on another planet?’

‘That is exactly what I am saying.  Yes, I know it is quite a concept, but your human mind will soon get used to it.’ The Doctor noticed the offended look on Brad’s face.  ‘Don’t be hurt. In my time I have had many companions, and most of them have been humans.  And each of them was a little shocked about being on planets other than Earth.  But they adapted well, as I am sure you will.’

Brad swallowed.  Well, he had to admit this got him away from all the crap that had been going on in his life recently.  ‘You know, Doc, I wonder if I am still on a trip, or if this is some dream.’

‘Oh no, no dream, Bradley.’

‘No? It was a nice hope.’ Brad smiled, despite the cold.  ‘But, hey, I will get used to it.  I’m nothing if not adapt –’

A screeching interrupted Brad’s eulogy.  The Doctor looked down at Brad and smiled.  ‘Aha. Sounds promising.  Come on.’

Brad blinked and the Doctor was away.  Brad ran behind, and called out.  ‘Promising? What?’

The Doctor looked back, but did not stop running.  ‘That sound means someone is in danger.  Which means I can help.’

Brad was not so sure. That screech was not the sound of someone, more the sound of something. Something pretty crazed, and… inhuman.  The Doctor’s voice drifted back.

‘Come on; adventure, excitement.  It’s waiting around the corner!’

*

Once they had turned the corner they came to a stop.  Before them was a woman holding her arm, screeching in pain.  Brad could not say he blamed her, after all the fire raging around her arm must have killed. There were four other people behind the woman, protecting a dog from the madman with the flaming torch.

How the wood managed to stay alight in this weather was beyond Brad, but it was so.  The man holding the torch out looked quite mad.  Wide eyed, looking as if he had had no sleep in decades.  A patchy beard, evidently not big on the shaving, either.  A sword lay abandoned on the ground beside him.  The man took another swipe with the torch, and the flame spread from the woman’s arm to the rest of her body.

Brad blinked, shocked at the Doctor’s speed.  Within moments the Doctor had intercepted the crazed man, taken the torch off him, and pushed the man onto his back.

‘Wow,’ was all Brad could manage.

The Doctor turned to Brad. ‘Quick! We must get some water!’

Brad shook his wet bangs. ‘Are you shitting me, Doc?’ He waved his arms around.  ‘Don’t you think we have enough water here all ready?’

The woman screamed and dropped to the ground.  The flames died abruptly.  All that remained was a burnt out carcass.  Her fellows looked at each other, and Brad felt a sting of sympathy for them.  Losing someone was not an easy thing.  Seeing the burnt corpse reminded him of Jacen lying in his coffin.  Brad took a step forward.

‘Hey, it will all be…’ His voice tailed off.

The four people snarled and looked at Brad.  He gulped.  They were not people.  They were vampires.  The teeth and the yellow eyes were a dead giveaway.  Ragged vampires, perhaps, but vampires nonetheless.  As one they advanced on Brad.  He tried to move but could not.  All he could do was look at the eyes of the tallest man.

‘Erm, Doc!’ he yelled.

Two of the vampires looked away from Brad to where the Doctor was standing.  Brad forced himself to look.  It killed his neck, but he could just make out the Doctor from the corner of his eye.  The Doctor stood there, arms behind his back, face set in a sad frown.  The two vampires advanced on the Doctor.

He shook his head and stepped forward to meet them, revealing the sword in his hand.  The vampires did not get a chance to react.  The Doctor moved swiftly and finally.  Within seconds the first vampire was dust.

‘Go Doc!’ Brad heard himself saying, but soon shut up when the Doctor threw an angry look at him.

The second vampire growled, but the Doctor showed not one iota of fear.  The vampire launched itself at the Doctor, and soon that vampire was a pile of dust, too.  The Doctor coughed and brushed the dust off him.  He looked at the two remaining vampires, and so did Brad.  They looked pissed.

‘Um, Doc…’ Brad began.

‘Don’t worry, Bradley.’ The Doctor walked through the dust piles towards the two vampires, and glanced down at the remains, a look of distaste on his face. ‘Are you going to leave us, or do I have to dispatch you as well?’

The two vampires looked at each other, then the tall one stepped up to the Doctor.  ‘How dare you interfere? You will be like us.’ He grabbed the Doctor by the throat, causing the sword to fall to the ground, and pulled the Time Lord closer to him.  ‘Or die.’

The Doctor laughed in his face.

The head vampire snarled at the Doctor.  ‘It is not wise to laugh at me, mortal. I am Lord Cheng, and I am not to be trifled with.’

‘You know, I have other enemies who like to say such nonsense to me.  And they are so much nastier than you.’ The Doctor grabbed the vampire’s wrist and twisted.  Cheng released the Doctor’s throat and fell back.

Brad blinked the rain out of his eyes and saw the vampire holding his broken wrist aloft.  Brad laughed.  ‘Way to go, Doctor,’ he whispered, not wishing to receive another of the Doctor’s glares.

The Doctor continued looking at the remaining vampires and bellowed: ‘Now go!’

They went.  But not before Lord Cheng said; ‘There will be a reckoning with you! I promise it.’

Once they were out of sight Brad stepped up to the Doctor and patted the large man on the back.  ‘Wow, Doc, I’m very impressed.  You could teach Van Hel–’

The Doctor turned on Brad and said through gritted teeth; ‘It is no laughing matter, Bradley, taking a life never is.’

Brad laughed, nervously.  ‘Yeah, but they were vampires, right? Demons and all that.  Evil.’

‘Life is life.  Sometimes I have to fight evil with evil, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.’ The Doctor took a deep breath, sighed, and looked at Brad.  He placed a large hand on the young man’s shoulder.  ‘Don’t worry about it, Bradley, you’ll get it one day.  Now then,’ he added, and looked down at the man they had saved.  ‘What say we get this fellow indoors, eh?’

*

The sun was shining and they stood outside the TARDIS.  The man, Ori’en, did not look so crazed now.  In fact he looked quite relaxed.  He had explained to the Doctor and Brad that he had not slept in weeks, not since he had realised that he was the last person alive on this planet.  It seemed that the whole planet had been infested with some kind of vampire virus, and Ori’en was the only one not to have turned.  Yet.  He expected it would happen soon, but in the meantime he intended to see if he could find a cure.  The Doctor offered to help.

‘Thank you, Doctor.  But this is my problem.  The longer you and Brad stay the more likely you are to become infected.’

This suited Brad fine.  Staying on a vampire-infested planet was not his idea of fun.  So now they were at the TARDIS saying goodbye.

‘Well, best of luck, Ori’en.  I daresay the vampires will give you a little breathing space.  At least until they realise that I have gone.’

Ori’en smiled.  ‘Let’s hope that it is enough time, Doctor.  And thank you, again.  I needed a good rest.’

The Doctor just laughed and opened the door of the TARDIS.  He ushered Brad inside, then looked back at Ori’en.  ‘Take care of yourself.’ The two men shook hands and the Doctor entered the TARDIS.

*

Ori’en stood there and watched the TARDIS fade from sight.  He looked down at his torn hand, at the infected blood.  His eyes glowed with a yellow hue.  ‘I will take care, Doctor.  I hope you do, too.’ As he walked away he could feel his infected blood mingling with that of the Doctor.

*

Brad glanced back at the closed doors.  ‘That was really weird, Doc,’ he said, removing his wet jacket from his sodden shirt. He glanced down at his jeans, now darker than usual and clinging uncomfortably to his skin.  ‘You got a washer?’

The Doctor wiped the blood off his hand, and noticed the slight cut.  ‘Oh dear… I wonder how that happened? Must have been the sword.  Oh well, it’ll heal.’ He glanced up at Brad.  ‘A washer, did you say?’ The Doctors reached into his pockets and pulled out all kinds of metal bits.  ‘Washers, nuts, screws, bolts, nails; I have them all.  A handyman’s dream!’

Brad shook his head, smiling out of the corner of his mouth.  ‘Yeah, that’s really neat, Doc, but I was thinking of washing my clothes, not attaching moving parts to them.’

‘Oh! A washing machine? I think we need to find you some new clothes.’

‘Well, I saw this kilt earlier; I could maybe try that on?’

The Doctor’s brow furrowed.  ‘No, fresh and new is the way to go.  Believe me, Bradley, I speak from experience.’

The Doctor led Brad through the inner door. ‘Is this what you do, then, Doc? Whiz in and out of peoples’ lives with barely a hey and bye?’

The Doctor gave this some consideration. ‘No, I usually tend to get a little more involved, but since my regeneration… I don’t know. I feel this need to move on, as if I’m looking for something.’ He shook away these obviously disturbing thoughts. ‘Enough of this, let’s see if we can find you a washer,’ the Doctor said with a beaming smile. Brad couldn’t help but return the smile. Somehow being stuck with the Doctor didn’t seem such a bad thing after all. It sure beat being stuck in Portland…


Next time…

Outside the window, an invisible paste white figure floated impossibly thousands of feet above the ground.  It held twin balloons.  One said ‘Cause’, the other ‘Effect’.  The balloons burst soundlessly.

*

The Doctor was excitedly pacing the office.  He had already done three circuits of the table.  ‘So what you’re saying is it’s a matter of narrowing the field of suspects.’ He paused.  ‘Still leaves a pretty vast field.’ He patted his ample stomach.  ‘All this application has given me an appetite.  Sixela?’ He looked expectantly at the professor.

‘I don’t think she’s listening,’ said Brad.

The Doctor stared.  Professor Sixela Capricornn was clearly speaking but no sound was emerging.  She also appeared to be fading away before their eyes.

‘Oh good grief!’ The Doctor looked anguished.  He found he could pass a hand clean through the professor.  ‘Reality bomb.  It must have been primed and waiting for the trigger… Some form of nexus point.’

To Be Continued… Saturday 16th October

Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen, Greg Miller & Elizabeth Medeiros.
Cover © 2010 by Ewen Campion-Clarke.
In the Blood (previously released as 'So Long Legend') © 2001, 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen,
The Legacy © & ™ 2001, 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen. 
Doctor Who © & ™ 1963, 2010 by BBC Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.


The Legacy #2: Urban Decay

Introduction to The Legacy

Some called him the Lonely God, but he was no god. I knew him, travelled with him from the beginning. It was I who called to him, encouraged him to leave his home world. I, myself, had been waiting a long time for a soul like his, a crusader. He was a force of nature waiting to happen. A catalyst for great change.

To some he was simply the bohemian wanderer in the fourth dimension. Some worlds, those that belonged to the monsters, feared him; they knew that if ever he visited their worlds the threat represented by them would be destroyed. Even the Daleks, those most evil of creations, called him the Ka Faraq Gatri, the Bringer of Darkness.

Oh, you have never heard of the Daleks? Of course, I keep forgetting, they never existed in this universe. At least not yet, anyway.

That was his fault. His timeline got altered and reality itself was reshaped, just to fit around him. Entire worlds were destroyed; species once destined for greats things now amounted to nothing. Everything in flux because just one man’s future had been altered.

And although the universe was altered to fit him, he found it hard to fit into this new reality. His home was gone, his path unclear, and yet still he went out there, doing what he did. Finding the wrongs and putting them right.

But he is gone now. Some say he is dead, others think he is just lost. Most say his work is done, that the universe no longer needs him. I say they are wrong. He has changed so many, left behind so much.

His legacy lives on in me. I’m here, waiting, for I know he shall return. He always does.

His name is legend.

He is the Doctor.

And this is his story…

————————————————————————————————

Previously; The Catalyst

The Doctor walked at a sedate pace through a tree lined avenue in an unfamiliar city.  Essentially, he’d settled on an arbitrary point in time to land.  Without premeditation, the TARDIS arrived on Earth once again, in the first year of the 21st Century.

Spring was in its budding process and the weather was struggling with itself.  The Doctor was humming a ditty to himself about what he may or may not have seen in the middle of May.  As he strolled through a downtown park block, he was beset successively by chilling wind, the onset of dusk, and hail.

His brow, cheeks, and nose felt quite abraded.  The Doctor turned up the collar of his brown twill coat and grumbled.  Spots of his white linen shirt and polka dot tie were becoming rather damp.

Yellow sodium arc lamps dotted the distance and he continued onwards in his journey towards nowhere in particular.  The gloaming sky, while partially obscured by firs, pines, oaks, and buildings, was turning a bruised shade of gold, russet and purple.  A dozen metres ahead trudged the figure of a man obviously in an advanced state of inebriation.

Belching and stumbling, this man stopped and placed both arms against a nearby wall and expelled the oily contents of his stomach.

Quite put off from the thought of a dinner diversion, the Doctor quickly strode off down Everett Street.  Another spate of hail stones descended.  The Doctor grew decidedly more uncomfortable when he realised he had no idea where he was going… again.

*

Elsewhere in the Rose City of Portland, Brad DeMars was feeling the depths of despondency.  Naturally so, since he’d just attended the funeral of his bass guitar player.

Jacen Lewis had succumbed to a brain tumour after months of intermittent seizures, radiation therapy, and patronising medical practitioners.  Brad was very close to his friend and it did not help that the death of Jacen precipitated the dispersal of the band.  To add injury to insult, ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ had only been gigging for less than a year.

Brad opted to linger behind at Riverview Cemetery and Crematorium for a little while after the service.  He had been hoping to be able to play the last composition of the band at the graveside service.  He was thwarted in this, of course, since he had neglected to bring an amplifier or, indeed, a power source for his synthesiser.  For some reason, the other members did not show up.

Brad DeMars was very angry at them.

Why were things so off-kilter lately?

Progressive alienation and disappointment was wearing away at his hopes to fend off a state of jadedness for another year.

He eventually drove towards his studio apartment long after the rest of the funeral party left him.  Dusk was not dusk any longer.  Night was settling in after the day’s struggle with the weather.

Brad cruised in his green Volkswagen Sirocco down Burnside Street.  He was absorbed and feeling harsh.  The blaring of the car stereo assuaged little of what he was feeling.

Understandably, he was quite suddenly alert when his brakes locked up.  The car spun and skidded, finally stopping dead mere centimetres from a fire hydrant.  The twenty-six year old synthesiser player with a black mop of hair tipped in nuclear red, lost consciousness as his forehead struck the steering wheel.

Kinetic force had to go somewhere.

*

‘Oh, Doctor, you’re bound to get lost if you keep weaving in and out of these blasted side streets!’ The Doctor bemoaned his lack of planning again.

It could not have been so late in the evening that every person had gone home, could it? After all, he was still relatively close to the downtown area wasn’t he? This excursion was revealing itself as quite dreary indeed, despite the greenery and quaint mix of architectures.

With a sigh, the Doctor settled his girth onto a nearby bench to gather his thoughts.  He withdrew his pocket watch in an attempt to regain his bearings.  Apart from being a compact and sophisticated time piece, it was also a wide range scanner capable of detecting temporal variations and geophysical positions.  To the Doctor’s chagrin he saw that the readings were unsteady – indeed they were fluctuating wildly.

‘Why should this be?’ he murmured aloud.

Another piece of evidence revealed that something was not as it should be.  Many certain some things were decidedly amiss.  Ever since the Doctor left UNIT HQ he had periodically been assailed by a sense of disassociation; that a matter of urgent importance was manifestly out of order was clear.

Rubbing his beard momentarily, he replaced his pocket watch to its home.  He brought out of another pocket a deck of playing cards he had found when he commandeered the coat.  He tapped the deck against his forehead and thought.

With eyes closed, he withdrew a card.  Ace of Hearts.

Gloomily wishing for a good game of Blackjack, the Doctor stood.  Perhaps he could find some answers if he returned to the TARDIS.  The watch might simply need recalibration.  Also a good nap in the Zero Room would do worlds of good.  The sense of displacement could possibly be a side effect of his recent regeneration.

Once again steeling his resolve to get to the bottom of matters, the Doctor attempted to retrace his path.

*

Brad awoke with his temples throbbing. ‘Oh, ow. What the…’

Not a car or pedestrian was near.  No ambulance, no fire truck and certainly no paramedics had come to investigate.  Where were the sirens of the law?

The synth player gingerly touched his face and fortunately found no blood.  He checked himself out in the rear view mirror.  An angry looking bruise was forming in a line on his forehead.

There should have been plenty of traffic for the time of day. In a quiet and orderly array, an average number of vehicles were parked as usual.  Yet there was no motion signalling the end of day.  It was as if every single person in the city, as far as one’s eye could see, had tucked themselves in for the night and turned the lights out.

The yellow nimbus of sodium arc lamps still stood their vigils.  From what Brad could see, the city became cloaked in a brooding and mutely subdued mystery.  He shook the tangles of his black and nuclear red hair out of his field of vision.  Getting out of the dead car, he set out on foot towards home.

*

A humanoid shape like a semi-collapsed marionette lowered itself from a tree.

‘Tick tock,’ said the plaintive voice of the Dommervoy.

Across the lane, another featureless mannequin lowered itself down to a height matching that of its counterpart.

‘Tick tock.’ A tittering sound followed, neither here nor there.

*

The stout and bearded Doctor stopped in his tracks, uncharacteristically startled.

He could only just make out the indistinct forms.

He looked closer, and indeed a few blocks away he could see that there were several humanoid shapes milling about like extras in a film.

*

On the West Hills, two kilometres away, the lights of the broadcasting towers flared brightly in a syncopated pulse.  The surrounding hills were intermittently bathed in light crimson ambience.  The surrounding hills were for a while briefly bathed in the glow.  Then they winked out for good.

*

The Doctor stole quietly west on Glisan Street, then bolted down Sixteenth Avenue.  He gasped for breath on the corner of Flanders Street and finally slumped onto a concrete bench before an old blue apartment building with red trim.  Nearby was a sign marked ‘18th Ave.’.

He really had to remember that his new body was not half as agile as his previous lanky form.

Just as he was preparing to open the fob of the newly constructed homing locator linked to his homely timeship, a small gale blew past.  For this reason, the Doctor looked upwards.

A vast ring of angry black clouds formed an icy nimbus around the moon.  Lambent violet arcs of energy strobed through the adjacent sky.  Then the moon blatantly vanished.

Some type of dimensional ‘storm’ was wrenching open the vaults of local space/time.  This the Doctor knew intrinsically and viscerally.

Considering his unusually graceless size, he made rather good time south and found himself on a broad road: Burnside Street.  On the intersection was a small green car parked askew to the curb.  Its tapered nose was scant centimetres from a fire hydrant.  The driver’s side door was wide open.  Yet the Doctor could clearly see a man walking about a block and a half away, hefting a large something on his shoulder.

*

On a gossamer thread of scintillating colour, dangling ten meters above the street, hung a blank faced caricature of a person wrapped in what looked like black packaging material.  Its black button eyes glared towards the receding figure in a brown wool overcoat.  It tittered and without moving its poorly drawn on line of a mouth, said; ‘tock.’

The Dommervoy quivered slightly and jerked upwards, promptly vanishing.

*

Brad DeMars was rightly upset and was experiencing the onset of a cold sweat and a peculiar knotting in the bowels, when he felt the wind and saw the sky swallow itself.  He found himself standing stock still and gawking at the impossible.

Many of the buildings of downtown Portland were usually visible from this stretch of road and for the most part, still were.  They were also somehow… changing.  ‘Big Pink’, the massive banking tower which was done up years ago in Bauhaus style copper collared glass and steel, was wavering and undulating.  Now it appeared that its foundation was set anywhere between thirty five to forty five degrees to the elevation of the surrounding ground.  The process continued to approximately nine storeys below the structure’s apex.

It was happening as far as the musician’s eyes could scan.  Trembling, he may well have stood there forever until he felt a hand on his shoulder.

‘Hello, I’m the Doctor, are you all right there?’

A sturdy looking and burly man he was.  Brad was nearly too shocked to respond but clasped the stranger’s proffered hand instinctively.  Dumbly, Brad managed a nod and closed his gaping mouth.

He swallowed and replied.  ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening, is it?’

He found himself regaining control in spite of the reeling and spinning sensation.  Somewhere in his subconscious mind, the idea was gestating.

‘I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got to put a stop to it,’ said the wide girthed man.

The bearded stranger appeared like some kind of archaic sea captain.  Although he was smiling, this Doctor could not conceal his grave concern.  At any rate, his manner suggested some degree of confidence and weird professionalism.  Brad was vaguely aware of being embarrassed.

‘Believe me, young man, you are not going mad.  I’m surprised you’re even here at all.  Surely some kind of anomaly within an anomaly has spared you? We’re standing in a city’s ghost, after all!’

He seemed almost pleased, like a child with a brand new book that came with a funky stain on it.  ‘Never mind that for now.  If you’re willing to trust me, we can find shelter from the quantum storm.’

What a mouthful! Still, he seemed far less crazy than whatever was happening to the city.

*

Gradually, while both of them watched on, the entire vista gained the aspect of becoming somehow digitised.  It was as if the place was an environment created for a first-person perspective computer simulation.  Pixels and stilted looking patterns appeared in formerly natural patterns.  The improbable pair of men ambled off at a pace towards the Holocaust Memorial a short distance away.

‘I’m, uh, Brad DeMars.  I was in a car accident.  Um…  My friend died last week.  I’m a musician.  Do you…  How…? What the hell did you say was going on?’

The Doctor’s booming laugh was like a war cry against the poisoned architecture.  Even over the keening of the wind and the thrumming of the shifting non-linear planes of reality, he could be heard clearly.

‘There’ll be time enough for that when we get inside.  Let’s go!’

*

Brad and the Doctor made good time in reaching the Memorial grounds which were a mere fifteen blocks from where the two initially met.  The young keyboardist was noting his unusual companion’s endurance.  Whoever he was, this man had not even began to sound winded in the slightest.

‘There we are!’ exclaimed the Doctor.  A meaty finger gestured to an object behind a copse of alders and cedar trees just off the inlet road to the Memorial; an object Brad had never seen before in his north-western American state.  He could just make out the markings on it which read, ‘POLICE Public Call BOX’.

‘Hey, man, where are we going?’ he asked, now totally out of breath.

‘Why, right in there, of course! Unless you’d rather stay out here and contend with that!’

‘This is too much.  I think I’ll bail out towards my place.  Nice meeting you, man.’ Brad turned away and tried to trot off, readjusting his gig bag containing his portable synthesiser.  He made it back to the main road and saw… next to nothing.

Brad DeMars spun on his heels and sprinted apace back towards the Doctor’s blue Police Box thing and banged on its narrow double door with both fists.

‘All right! I believe you! Talk to me, Doctor!’

The right hand door opened silently inwards, an arm clasped Brad’s forearm and pulled him inside and shut again.

*

The world turned abjectly grey while a gang of sawdust filled figures converged on the spot where the TARDIS once sat…

*

In a white control room, intensely scanning over a console, the Doctor gravely looked at Brad.

‘Well, Brad, I don’t have your answers.  What I do know is that the place we have just left was not Portland.  Your survival is a… miracle.  That place was a sort of analogue to your home.  A great force has wrested an entire temporal and spatial nexus out of its proper place.  For what cause or reason, I just don’t know.  I don’t know.  But I intend to find out.’

Fields distended and Brad DeMars lost consciousness. For being such a hard bohemian kind of guy (at least in his own estimation), this turn of events was too much.  The consciousness as a whole had to find a way to compensate for the sudden and somewhat violent wrenching of expectations…

To be continued… Sunday 31st October


Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen, Greg Miller & Elizabeth Medeiros.
Cover © 2010 by Ewen Campion-Clarke.
Urban Decay © 2001, 2010 by Christoph Lopez,
Introduction © 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen,
The Legacy © & ™ 2001, 2010 by Andy Frankham-Allen. 
Doctor Who © & ™ 1963, 2010 by BBC Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.

The Legacy Returns

Great news for Doctor Who fans all over! From next month, I shall be posting on this blog every single story written for Doctor Who: The Legacy, one story per month. This will be a mammoth task, covering five years worth of stories. So many people worked hard on the series, and many others missed it the first time around, and so now here’s a chance to read all five seasons of the online series that shattered the world of Doctor Who into little bits. A series that introduced many key concepts that latterly (intentionally or not) found their way into the new Doctor Who series (which began in 2005). Each story shall be freshly edited by me, with a few rewrites when necessary to fix some mistakes made during those crazy early days in 2001. This way, once again, The Legacy is 100% free!

I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as we all enjoyed working on it. The first story is already posted here.