The Doctor struggled with all his might to pull free from the beasts iron grip but it was no use.
“Go all of you, you’ll be killed if you don’t. No point in all of us being eaten by that thing.” The others refused to leave. In Dana’s case it was out of loyalty to her friend, in Sleera and Laragesh’s case it was out of fear. Whilst he may not want to admit it, Sleera knew that the Doctor was his best bet of making it through this nightmare alive. The Time Lord had already demonstrated incredible skill and cunning which seemingly surpassed all of his team mates. Though even with the Doctors help, Sleera knew their odds weren’t good.
The monster was clearly toying with its prey like a cat would a mouse. It was strong enough to pull the Doctor out in seconds, but it wanted to extend his torment for as long as it could.
Eventually even Laragesh and Sleera realised it was hopeless and ran. Sleera tried to pull Dana away, but she didn’t give up for a second and still pulled on the Doctor with all her strength.
Suddenly a barrage of lasers struck the monsters face causing it to let go of the Doctor. As the Time Lord sprung back to his feet he saw 15 more people standing beside Laragesh and Sleera.
They were all wielding weapons much larger than either Laragesh or Sleera’s weapons.
“Well don’t just stand there run you fool.” One of them who was clearly the leader shouted as he and the rest ran back towards the lift. The monster however having recovered from the pain reached its massive clawed hand into the room again. This time the Doctor and Dana managed to dodge it (barely.) Sadly one of the team a young woman, was not as lucky. The monster managed to wrap its grotesque fingers around her. In contrast to how it slowly pulled the Doctor out, the monster, overcome with rage, wasted no time and crushed the poor woman to death in an instant. Whilst it was busy gnawing on her crushed corpse the others hurried back to the lift.
Once there the leader of the team pointed his gun at the Doctor and Dana. “Who are you? I didn’t see either of you on the database? You’re not dressed like scientists? What are you doing here.”
The Doctor sighed. “Oh look not this again, if I was really in league with those this thing, would, would” the Doctor suddenly felt a bit faint. He stumbled about a bit before the leader of the team pushed him against the wall.
“I don’t care if you’re in league with those things or not, you’re still trespassing. Tell me why are you here.”
The Doctor regaining his composure shoved the solder back.
“Now look” the Time Lord said in a firm tone. “I thank you for saving my life, but I will not be treated like a common criminal. Fact is you should be damn grateful I happened to stop by as I’m you’re only chance off this.” The room suddenly began to shake. The giant monster hadn’t given up on its prey just yet and was now tearing through the side of the facility to try and get them. It could smell its intended victims from miles away. The monster was not just pursuing the Doctor. It had caught scent of the team and had attacked them earlier too, managing to catch three at once when it struck its hand through a window. The rest of the team had only managed to escape the beast because it became distracted after picking up the Doctors scent.
“Can we please just get out of here before that thing eats us!” Dana screamed more out of frustration than fear.
“I quite agree” the Doctor said as he used his sonic screwdriver to open the lift doors. They all barely managed to squeeze into the lift just as the wall began to break down. They were all desperate not to be the last one left!
The leader of the team sent the lift to the 14th level almost at the very bottom of the facility.
The 14th level was a massive hangar, littered with more mangled corpses and smashed equipment. At the centre of the room was a large red hatch. “We need to get there to regroup NOW” the leader shouted in panic as he pushed past the others.
The hatch was so massive, the leader needed a few others help to open it. As soon as it opened however a massive spiked tail cut clean through the leaders chest and pulled him below.
As the others backed away from the hatch suddenly they all noticed several hideous creatures emerging from the shadows and climbing down the walls from around them.
These creatures were again different to any of the others the Doctor and Dana had encountered. They had short squat, dark blue bodies, goblin like faces with pig snouts, bright red eyes, and tails about three times longer than their bodies, each of which ended in a spike. They all had massive hard shells on their backs.
The monsters scuttled down the wall and the floors like crabs at a tremendous speed. The team opened fire on the beasts, but it was no use as their lasers simply bounced off of their shells. There were about 100 or so of the abominations in the room.
“They laid a trap for us. Or rather anyone that tried to get to the safety room.” The Doctor said.
The creatures used their tails, which could move at a lightening fast speed to strike at their enemies. Two of the team were disarmed whilst a third had his throat cut open. Dana tended to the wounded man, but it was hopeless. He was dead before he hit the floor. Dana picked up his weapon and started firing at the monsters, but not being trained how to use the weapon, her fire was more scattershot. Still Dana accidentally struck one of the broken down pieces of equipment causing a mini explosion, powerful enough to send several of the monsters flying and scatter some of the others.
The monsters completely surrounded their prey from all angles, seemingly cutting off all hope of escape. One member of the the team named Clavetch, in sheer desperation tried to run through the monsters. At first he managed to catch a few by surprise and knock them off balance, but one of the monsters wrapped its tail around him, and hoisted the poor soul into the air. He screamed at the rest of the team to help him, but there was nothing they could do. Apart from Sleera they didn’t even notice he was gone as they were too busy trying to hold off the monsters themselves.
The creature repeatedly slammed Clavetch against the wall, face first. It broke his nose and several of his teeth before throwing him violently to the floor. As Clavetch desperately tried to crawl to safety, the monster brought its tail down through both of his hands, one after another, breaking them both, before repeatedly slashing his back.
It then impaled him through his right leg. The monster finally hoisted Clavetch through the air a second time and dangled him over more of its kind who started to claw and bite at his face and torso. One of the monsters stuck its hand through Clavetch’s chest and started to pull. A tug of war with Clavetch’s mangled body ensued which resulted in the soldiers body being pulled into two pieces.
Three more of the soldiers had tried to escape down the hatch, firing down the hole at the monster in there, but its tail simply batted the guns out of their hands and wrapped itself around the neck of the man nearest to the hatch which it then snapped.
Whilst the tail was distracted by the other two hapless soldiers, the Doctor seized his chance. Thinking quickly he started to push the hatch back down from the other side on the monsters tail. He needed help to move it however, and so he shouted out to Dana who helped him close it on the monsters tail.
The monster let out an ear piercing scream and tried to push the hatch back up, but fortunately two other soldiers jumped on top of the hatch alongside the Doctor and Dana, which caused it close completely and sever the monsters tail.
The Doctor then started to pull the hatch open, though again he had to have help from Dana and the others.
“Get in now” the Doctor shouted to the others who were still pointlessly trying to fight off the hordes of monsters around them. They all dived down the hole, though one of the team was impaled by one of the monsters tails as she tried to flee.
The Doctor was the last to go down, though as usual Dana wanted to the be the last, still the Doctor forced her to go down ahead of him.
The Doctor and Dana started to close the hatch once they were inside, but two tails from the monsters above soon swung down and started to attack them. The monsters couldn’t quite see where they were going however, as they were still a few feet away from the hatch.
The Doctor and Dana pulled as hard as they could at the hatch to come down on top of the two tails. In desperation one of the tails did manage to slash Dana across the arm but it was only a minor wound, and she didn’t let the pain deter her. The monsters soon pulled their tails from the hatch, not wanting to lose them like the earlier beast had.
Meanwhile below, the other members of the team alongside Sleera and Laragesh were distracted by the monster whose tail the Doctor had taken off.
Without its tail it was considerably less dangerous, but the thick armour on the abominations back still protected it from their weapons.
The monster ran at the team who scattered, but it managed to pursue one of them to the end of the room. The others kept firing at the monster, but it did no good. Once it had cornered its prey, it stood back on its hind legs and pinned its victim against the wall.
“Stop that won’t do any good” the Doctor said to the team who ceased their fire as they saw their team mate was already dead.
“Dana, follow my lead” the Doctor said as he ran at the monster and grabbed one arm from behind. Dana grabbed the other arm, but despite pulling with all of their strength they weren’t able to tear the beast off of the lifeless carcass it was devouring. The monster threw the body on top of Dana and turned to face the Doctor. The Doctor managed to dodge the monsters attacks and again went round the monsters back. This time however he stepped on what was left of its tail. The monster had kept the tiny half of its ripped tail stuffed under its shell before, but after the Doctor and Dana had distracted it, it let its tail down.
Whilst the monster was briefly overcome with the pain in its tail the Doctor grabbed it from behind by both of its arms, and spun the monster round to face the team.
“Quick shoot it now” the Doctor said as he briefly held the monster in place. The team were only too happy to oblige and opened fire on the beasts soft stomach under its shell. Its orange blood and guts splattered all over the floor as the lasers cut through its flesh. The Doctor then kicked the monster face down to the floor where it writhed for a few seconds, spitting out more blood and groaning, before finally breathing its last.
The Doctor helped Dana up. The body the monster had thrown at her’s guts and throat had both been torn out and she was now covered in them.
“Remind me to take 58 showers when we get back to the TARDIS.” She said as she tried to wipe the blood and entrails off.
In the background were the sounds of the monsters from above clawing, banging on the hatch and screaming in frustration.
“Don’t worry said one of the team to the Doctor and Dana. “They’ll never get inside. The hatch is made from the strongest material in this galaxy.”
Another one of the soldiers, a young woman knelt over the body of the man the beast had killed, weeping.
“I’m sorry” Dana said as she tried to comfort the woman who shoved her away.
The surviving members of the team meanwhile began to search the room for supplies as well as check the computer screens by the wall.
“Do you mind telling me where we are” the Doctor said, somewhat stumbling over his words as a great fatigue suddenly came over the Time Lord.
“This is a shelter” one of the soldiers, who had clearly taken over as the new leader of the team said.
“It was built in the case of emergencies. The hatch, the walls and the floors are made from Ratiam, the strongest metal in this entire galaxy. We can also monitor most of the other rooms in the facility from in here too.”
The Doctor was skeptical. “If nothing can get in why didn’t any of the scientists hide in here.”
“It appears that when the first wave of those creatures appeared in the facility, they teleported in instantly. The poor souls didn’t have time flee.”
“Then what killed the monsters?”
“A security system. It releases a toxic chemical that is designed to attack any creature that is not a native of this galaxy. The chemical is alive, to some extent and it’s programmed to recognise any hostile alien intruder. There are many other forms of security in here of course, but it appears these creatures were able to disarm them all except for the poison. We only found out about it recently when we managed to hack the last of the files above. It was also how we found out about this place. It seems the brutes were arrogant enough to think they could find the cure themselves, or the sceintists didn’t give in. Whatever the case they couldn’t find it and paid with their lives.”
The Doctor and Dana both looked somewhat worried. “A bit careless of you don’t you think? What if there is just a friendly alien passing by.”
“Trust us, no friendly alien is able to just pass by this facility. There’s too much at stake here. For many centuries we were under attack from creatures beyond our galaxy who wanted to gain access to our technology. This was the best way of protecting it. Of course there is a different security system to take care of intruders from this galaxy. You can never be too careful.”
“Well” the Doctor said as he started to feel a pain in his chest. “I think you need a new system. Those monsters have still managed to overrun you facility, and me and Dana are both dying.”
“What do you mean”, the new team leader asked?
“We’re aliens. We’ve both started to feel a bit faint since we got here. At first I thought it was just you know, because we’d been chased, beaten and almost devoured by heinous monsters, but it turns out we’ve been poisoned too.”
The soldiers all pointed their weapons at the Doctor and Dana. (Save for Laragesh and Sleera who just sighed at having to go through this again.)
“Where are you from? Who sent you?” the new leader barked.
“I’m Doctor and I’m from Gallifrey and this is Dana, she’s from earth. Though if I said I’m from Telos and she’s from Skaro would it have made a difference.”
Dana sighed at the Doctors attempts at to diffuse the situation with humour. “I think he forgets that I can’t regenerate too when he keeps insulting people with guns.” She thought to herself.
“These people may be aliens, but trust me, they’re here to help us. I don’t know how or why but you can trust them” Laragesh said as she tried to lower the leaders weapon.
Sleera interjected “He also has the only way off this planet.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well as I said before I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that giant creature we faced on the upper level destroyed your ship. I don’t think there were any survivors. I’m sorry.” The Doctor said a little bit more gently than before.
The soldiers were shocked. The team had all worked together for many years. They had been hailed as heroes of the galaxy. It had been a long while since they had dealt with something that could even threaten them. To be placed in this situation felt like a terrible nightmare.
Laragesh spoke. “I didn’t want to believe it either. My little brother was on the vessel. We all knew the risks when we signed up, but still I can’t accept it.” She started to cry. Dana was the first to comfort her. The soldiers weren’t used to seeing their team mates break down like this. They weren’t sure how to react.
The Doctor spoke to the others. “I’m sorry for all your losses, but right now if you don’t want to die at the hands of those, things, up there you’ll need to help us find a cure for the poison.”
The leader wasn’t convinced. “Why? We could just wait for the poison to kill the monsters above and then call for a rescue ship.”
“We helped you escape up there and you’d just let us slowly die” Dana said angrily.
“You were just helping yourself out. Besides it would be suicide to try and escape through that sea of creatures up there.”
“What if those creatures find a way to cure your plague? The first batch didn’t, but maybe this group have learned their lesson. Also what if they send a third group? You don’t know where they came from or just how many there are? What if they get hold of a weapon in the facility that could harm the other worlds in the galaxy? You can’t just sit in here and hope for the best.” The Doctor said angrily.
“Those creatures are animals” the Leader protested.
“You know that’s not true. They’ve already outwitted us. Your previous leader already paid a heavy price for underestimating those monsters. They’re intelligent. I don’t know to what extent, but they are most certainly not animals. Savage yes, but for all we know they could be smarter than you or me. ”
The leader was visibly scared. “Even if what you say is true, how do you expect me to help you get through that lot out there.”
“Well I have a plan, but I need to know if there is a cure for this bacteria or if at least one of the labs still has functioning equipment. Failing that we could always get back to the TARDIS and go somewhere else. Our odds aren’t great but we have to try.”
“There is a cure. The researchers here don’t like to take a life unless they absolutely have too. In the lower levels there is a cure for the bacteria, a shot that kills the bacteria cells, but again you’ll have to get through those horrors outside.”
“No problem” the Doctor said as took the previous leaders gun which caused the others to point theirs at him
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt you. These rifles. I have a way of turning them into bombs. We can use it to scatter those things above. Though after that I must admit we’d be on our own with no weapons unless one of you heroes comes with us?”
The Doctor was met with a silence. “Fine I’ll go on my own, but I hope that at least one of you will show me the exact level.”
“I’m afraid not, Doctor.” The leader said pointing his gun at the Time Lord. “You opening that hatch is a risk to all of us. No one is leaving here.”
“So what? You’re just going to sit back and watch us die?”
“Why should I care about either of you? You still haven’t told me how you got in here. As far as I’m concerned you’re enemy spies. I can put you both out of your misery right now if you want. Other than a few twinges in your chest though, the poison isn’t a painful death. It’s designed to sneak up on you.”
“Well I’m not going to just sit back and take it” the Doctor protested which caused the leader to fire at him. Though the Doctor managed to dodge the blast the other soldiers were shocked.
Laragesh got in the way of the Doctor and Dana. “Taresk what on earth are you doing? You can’t just shoot this man”
Taresk then fired just beside her.”I mean it. I am not going back out there. Look at what those things did to us. We are going to wait here for the poison to take effect on those monsters. Anyone tries to open that hatch I’ll kill them.
Just then the Doctor kicked the gun out of Taresk’s hands and quickly knocked him out with a bit of Venusian karate.
“He’ll be out for a while. Thank you Laragesh.” The Doctor said.
“I didn’t agree with his methods Doctor, but I’m afraid I’m not sure any of us will be willing to help you either.”
“In that case you might as well have just let him shoot us” Dana said bitterly.
“She’s right you know. You were sent here as a rescue team, yet you’re just going to leave two people to die. Besides I’m not asking you to help me anyway, but please let us leave. I have to do everything I can to try and help Dana, I brought her here.”
“You didn’t bring me anywhere Doctor, I came here on my own accord. I’d do the same again. You’re not to blame at all.” Dana reassured the Doctor. “However” she joked “Having said that, it wouldn’t hurt to get the TARDIS fixed if we make it out of this.”
“Well at any rate we should be going now, please just give us two guns and we won’t trouble you any more.”
The soldiers looked ashamed of themselves. They felt like miserable cowards, though to be fair to them, these creatures were unlike anything they had ever faced before. Even the Doctor himself didn’t think much of his or Dana’s chances against the creatures, which was why he wasn’t really pushing for any of the soldiers to help him, just to let him leave the shelter.
Sleera however to the Doctors surprise would be the first to offer his help. Sleera’s offer wasn’t so much out of nobility however. The Doctors warnings had gotten through to him. He was particularly worried about what the Doctor said about the monsters gaining access to the secrets of this facility. For all he knew they were using them to attack the empire. There may not even be anywhere for him to escape too. This Doctor guy seemed to know what he was talking about, Sleera thought to himself. Even if he is a conceited, condescending know it all.
After Sleera offered to help, the woman who until now had simply sat over the corpse of the fallen soldier offered to help too. Her name was Reosa. She was the oldest member of the team, being well over 600 years old. The fallen soldier was in fact her son. She had begged him not to join the team. Unlike the others, who she regarded as being nothing more than glory hounds and show offs who had never faced real danger, she always was wary of a real threat emerging in the galaxy. Despite her age she was not the team leader, simply because she refused the offer.
Reosa did not like to be in charge of other people. She actually preferred to work on her own, but was willing to put up with others if they didn’t get in her way.
Reosa was willing to help the Doctor and Dana, not simply for altruistic reasons either, but because after what had happened to her son, she didn’t care anymore.
“Well I can hardly let Sleera go without me” Laragesh said as she went to join the Doctor and the others. The Doctor however, much to Laragesh’s surprise, stopped her.
“No” the Time Lord said firmly. “As much as I hate to admit it, you’re commander was right. This is the safest place, and some of you need to stay here in case I don’t make it back. Besides we’ll need someone here to check the monitors for us. It can be very frustrating to turn a corner and not know if there’s a giant monster waiting to eat you. You lot can at least give us a heads up.”
“Okay fine” Laragesh sulked. She and Sleera had always had the closest bond of anyone in the team outside of her and her little brother. She couldn’t bare the thought of him going out alone. Still she could see that the Doctor was right. She could be more help to him in here. She didn’t even say anything to Sleera. The team never liked to show any weakness, but he knew how much she cared for him, as he did for her.
The Doctor went to fetch Reosa’s son’s weapon. Dana could see that Reosa was upset by the Doctors somewhat callous nature, and put her hand on Reosa’s shoulder to comfort her. Reosa was a little unsure of this gesture at first, but this time she didn’t rebuff Dana’s attempts to comfort her.
After adjusting the weapon weapon the Doctor shared his plan with Dana, Reosa and Sleera.
“I’m going to open the hatch. Reosa, Sleera, I’ll need you to fire on the monsters at first before I can get a good distance out. Aim for the tails. They’re a quick target, but they’re the monsters weak point. ”
Dana, Reosa and Sleera helped the Doctor to open the hatch from below. The Doctor and Dana managed to push it backwards onto two of the monsters behind the hatch, crushing them, whilst Reosa and Sleera started firing on the monsters from the front, aiming for their tails.
Reosa managed to sever two of the beasts tails which briefly sent some of the others scurrying in panic.
The Doctor and Dana each held one of the guns the Doctor had turned into bombs. Dana was the first to use hers. She threw her bomb in front of her, at a massive machine, about ten feet away behind the sea of monsters.
Having remembered how unstable the equipment was when she shot it earlier she knew it was dangerous, but there was so many of the monsters, seemingly more than from before and they were closing in fast with no way of escape (the hatch had been closed behind them.)
Sure enough the bomb created a massive blast, so big it even knocked the Doctor, Dana, Reosa and Sleera off of their feet.
All of the monsters next to the machine were killed instantly whilst those on the periphery were still knocked out, or thrown several feet across the room. Even those on the outskirts began to flee back up the walls.
The Doctor was the first to get up and quickly roused Dana who had been knocked out by her own bomb. Sleera was more badly hurt. His arm had been fractured in the blast, but he managed to fight through the pain and still fired his weapon at the monsters as they started to come back. Reosa meanwhile being the farthest away from the blast was mostly okay. Her weapon had been knocked out of her hand however, and when she tried to reach for it, one of the monsters quickly batted it away with its tail and nearly struck Reosa who was only able to barely get out of its way.
“Sorry Doctor, there was just so many I, I can’t believe I was so reckless” Dana said as she struggled to get herself back up.
“No time for that now Dana, come on while they’re still scattered.”
Dana’s blast had managed to kill most of the monsters blocking the way to the elevator, but there were still more and more crawling down from the walls on either side. The Doctor, Sleera, Dana, and Reosa ran as fast as they could towards the elevator, dodging the monsters tails, with Sleera also firing indiscriminately at the creatures.
They managed to make it to the elevator, with hordes of the monsters in pursuit. The Doctor however was able to scatter them again by throwing his bomb right into the centre of the crowd of beasts. This time the creatures attempted to flee, and most of them managed to escape the blast. The Doctor’s bomb only managed to get about 4 or 5 of the creatures, though it still did knock a few more off of their feet at least.
Whilst the Doctor and the others were distracted however, one of the monsters managed to crawl down the wall just above the elevator and wrapped its tail around Sleera, causing him to drop his gun.
Sleera screamed in pain, but by the time the Doctor, Dana and Reosa had turned round, the monster had already hoisted him about ten feet in the air. Dana who was the closest to the gun Sleera had dropped, picked it up and fired at the monster. She didn’t have a perfect aim, but she still managed to hit its tail and wound the creature enough to drop Sleera, who fell on his fractured arm.
Reosa helped Sleera up whilst the Doctor started to operate the elevator.
The monster that had grabbed Sleera quickly descended from the wall beside the Doctor, but both Sleera and Reosa grabbed it from behind before it could pounce on the Time Lord. They struggled against the monsters strength, but Dana managed to shoot it in the tail, severing it this time. Whilst the monster was distracted from the pain, Sleera and Reosa managed to pull it on its back, allowing Dana to open fire on the beasts stomach, killing it.
“Come on” the Doctor shouted as the elevator doors swung open. The foursome managed to make it in just in time as the hordes of ravenous monsters descended on the elevator doors. With no time to spare the Doctor sent the lift to a higher level. At random, he picked the 4th floor.
“We made it, I can’t believe it” Dana said through heavy gasps. Sleera meanwhile tried frantically to get through to Laragesh on his communicator, but there was no response.
The doors suddenly swung open to reveal a long black corridor.
The Doctor was the first to explore, as always. There were a few remains of scientists scattered throughout the 4th floor. One of them, a soldier at the very end looked embedded in the floor up to his chest.
“Come in, come in” Sleera shouted. “Don’t let me down now.” He said as he started to worry if something had gone wrong in the shelter.
Reosa meanwhile spoke with the Doctor. “This isn’t the right level for the cure, we need to head to the 6th floor”.
The Doctor at first didn’t answer. He was too distracted by the figure stuck in the floor. Suddenly however the entire team were distracted by the sound of something huge lumbering outside.”
“He’s back” the Doctor uttered quietly in fear. “We need to get to the lift now.”
“Yes, like I said the cure is on the 6th floor Doctor.” Reosa said sharply.
“Right sorry about that, I was a bit distracted by the dead body welded to the floor.”
The room started to shake and the four started to run. Just as they did however, Sleera suddenly heard a noise coming from his communicator.
“Sleera, come in Sleera!”
He quickly responded.
“Get out of there now. It’s coming your way.”
“Yes thank you for your timely interruption, we are fleeing from that giant freak.”
“It’s not the giant, its coming from beneath you. Stay away from the lift!”
Suddenly a hand came bursting out of the floor, right in front of the lift, Stopping the Doctor, Dana, Reosa and Sleera in their tracks. The hand was black and ended in long, thin claws. Interestingly enough however, the hand did not actually break the floor. It seemed to phase through it.
A creature, standing over 7 feet tall, and completely black and featureless, except for a mouth filled with 3 sets of long, blood stained teeth stood in front of them.
Reosa, (who had taken the weapon off of Dana in the elevator.) Tried to shoot the beast, but its body became transparrant, causing the laser to fire through it. The monster then briefly became flesh before grabbing Dana, after which they both vanished through the floor in a flash.
Below Dana fell roughly 10 feet, but before she hit the hard metal floor, a similar creature caught her in its arms.
It lowered her slowly to the ground, allowing her to see ten more similar creatures behind it. The room was covered in blood and the mangled remains of various soldiers who had been pulled under to the same gruesome fate.
To be continued.