Thomas had a line in the first draft of this page, but I decided to just drop it and let his face sell the moment. One thing is certain, even Thomas can’t misunderstand Jess’s intentions. She laid that shit out, which is something I kind of wish was more common with women. Subtlety is not something you should expect to get good results with when it comes to men, or indeed with most people. Sometimes just spelling your intentions out saves everyone a lot of time.
I feel like a being of pure headache. All my bits are sore and most of my face holes are leaking. These allergies are insane. I don’t know what it is about Colorado, but they are so much worse here than Kansas, and I thought Kansas was terrible.
They finally got to the 8th Doctor in the anniversary specials the other night. Paul McGann was my first Doctor. I’d seen minutes of other doctors on PBS, but never had the patience for them as a kid. For whatever reason I was ready for the idea when they tried to bring it back and watched the special. Even without having seen any other episodes I instantly understood that Sylvester McCoy reprising his role as the 7th was important. It meant the show was real, so anything I learned was valid going forward. Little did I know that they played fast and loose with the rules for #8. Still, if you watch that special and then watch the first episode with #9 you are going to notice some pretty striking parallels. I mean there are a few moments that completely appear to set the tone for the new generation of Doctors. The 8th Doctor’s single on screen outing is a weirdly perfect bridge between the old and new. Especially in the way that the Master seems to break every rule for time lord regeneration. He just does whatever he likes and nothing applies to him, which is exactly how he is when #10 has to deal with him.
Anyway, I would likely have never started watching the new series if it hadn’t been for seeing #8 on screen years and years prior. It’s a real shame that McGann didn’t get to play the Doctor more times because he nailed the essence of the character on the first try.
I updated the fiction page if you want to see this in one place again. Just search the first line, or whatever, if you lost your place. If you don’t know how to do that then you should whack yourself in the temple with a tack hammer.
Instinctively the group snapped into fighting formation; each of them scanning a section of the room. Julius did his best to fade into the center. There was something familiar about the voice…
“You! Is this your doing?” Regalius asked. Everyone turned to where he was facing. A figure was striding toward them out of the crowd of hazy spirits. It looked like one of them, yet whole and solid. Soon the form of a very attractive young woman stood before them. She was dressed after the fashion of an enchantress, meaning she looked like a magical stripper.
“If you mean the alterations to this ridiculous old nonsense then yes. It is my doing, more or less.” She replied. “It’s something of a failure if I’m honest. Although I feel that it’s more the fault of these fools than mine.” She continued, waving her hand in the general direction of some of the more formless spirits. “Their attempts at harnessing necrotic forces were a little too pathetic to live up to my plans.”
“Who are you?” Demanded Alina. “I lost three friends to this place. If you had a hand in that-”
“You’ll what? Be belligerently fat and stupid at me? I’m sorry dear, but you’re already doing that and it’s not working.” The woman cut across her.
Alina advanced menacingly, but the woman made no move to retreat. She simply help a hand out against Alina’s barrier.
“This kind of pathetic student magic is EEEEAAAARRRGH!” After a few seconds of touching the magical wall the ghostly woman’s hand had begun to sear. Acrid smoke rose from her now metaphorically blackened hand. “You! What are you!? A simple shield charm shouldn’t do that!” The woman screeched. Her other hand extended and let fly a bolt of power. Alina’s barrier held, although the strain of maintaining it instantly showed on her face.
“Protective spells have always been one of my strong suits.” Sneered Alina.
The woman’s expression evolved from blind rage to epiphany. “It’s you… Red hair! The bitch of the council! Ha! I knew my defenses weren’t to blame! You’ve some experience you have…”
“I do, and I am not without mercy.” Alina replied in a measured tone. “If you give yourself up without further struggle I will lobby for leniency on your behalf. It will likely mean life in captivity for the loss of three lives, but you will keep your wretched life.”
“You ridiculous cow! I’m not here. This is a projection through the conduit’s power.” She laughed. “You could no more capture me than you could tie the wind in a bag!”
“The hard way it is…” Alina replied, nodding at Herrin.
Without warning Herring lunged forward with a grabbing motion, and though his hand never left the barrier an enormous, white, spectral hand extended away from his arm and slammed the enchantress to the far wall. She shrieked in agony, her body burning in the places where it made contact with Herrin’s shield hand.
“I expect that wherever you are those wounds seem very real right now.” Said Alina. “So real that you can’t rejoin this bit of your soul to the rest of it for a few minutes at least.”
Herrin released his grip. The woman slumped to the floor. Some of the hazy spirits approached her cautiously.
“Mind your distance, dogs!” She snarled, batting the spirits away with concussive force. “You’ll pay for that, Redgrave…”
“Herrin!” Alina yelled. Again Herrin made to grasp their opponent in his mighty hand, but this time she was prepared. Her arm transformed into a claw and gripped Herrin’s hand.
“This place is a massive battery for nercomantic power, you idiot. I can draw on it indefinitely!” She screamed.
Suddenly music began filling the spaces between words. Regalius was playing a jaunty tune on his makeshift instrument. Herrin bore down on the glowing claw, which began to buckle.
“You could draw on the power indefinitely,” Replied Alina. “but it would bur its way all the way back to your actual body. Believe me, this isn’t my first encounter with your kind…”
“You whore!” Screamed the enchantress. “I’ll bring this place down on top of you!”
Before anyone had a chance to react she released Herrin’s hand, allowing it to pin her to the wall again, but the free arm lashed out at the device in the center of the room. Slabs of stone and piping crashed to the floor. Gallons of the sickly ooze began hemorrhaging into the room.
“I don’t need this place anymore, and the master will reward me handsomely for making it your tomb, Redgrave!”
“DAMN IT ALL!” Yelled Alina. “MAKE FOR THE DOOR!”
As one the party dashed toward the exit. Alina’s barrier holding back a tide of slime at a visible cost to her strength.
“It’s too much…” She muttered through clenched teeth. “it burns!” Staggering, she fell to one knee.
“Keep going!” Yelled Julius, scooping Alina into his arms.
Standing in the ever rising tide of ooze the enchantress finally caught sight of Julius as he hoisted Alina off of the ground. Somehow he knew. Their eyes met for the briefest of glances before he pelted away.
“It can’t be…” escaped her awestruck lips before the slime obscured her view.
“We don’t have time to hold back the seal, Julius!” Yelled Regalius. Julius steadied Alina and ran his fingers along the door.
“It’s gone. It’s just the door mechanism now.” He fiddled with it for a few moments. “It’s not locked. The conduit must have made it work. I can’t open it!”
“I can.” Said Herrin, shattering the door with one hand while shielding the others with the spare.
Without waiting for instructions the party scrambled over the rubble. Herrin held up the weakened ceiling until they were all safely on the other side.
“That’s it, kids…” he gasped. “One more stunt like that and you’ll be carrying me out too…”
“Alina’s already straining my limits, Herrin.” Julius smiled. “Please take it easy from here on.”
He winced as Alina jabbed him weakly in the ribs.
“I don’t think that’s going to be enough to stop the slime.” Niona observed worriedly. “We need to keep moving.” Green jets were already spraying onto the wall opposite the crumbled doorway.
Soon the team was moving briskly back the way they had come. Niona and Julius helping to steady Alina while Regalius and Twig steadied Herrin.
“How far do you think we’ll need to go?” Asked Twig.
“Hard to say.” Niona replied. “That stuff was being pumped throughout the structure… It may reach a point of equilibrium as soon as the lower floors fill up. Assuming that there isn’t some kind of reverse pressure we should be fine.”
“Would reverse pressure cause a place that had been damaged previously to flood as well?” Asked Regalius, who had stopped at the stairs leading into the skeleton chamber.
“Very probably.” Answered Niona.
“Then it seems we have a problem…” He replied, gazing at the slowly rising level of green ooze advancing up the stairs.