Professor Fang: The Living Spaceship: Part 2: The Chosen Few

 

The old man and Kirsteen were trapped in a sea of hideous rotting corpses all reaching out and trying claw at them.

The largest Zombie at the back however to the old man’s surprise started to attack the other creatures. It pulled a short female Zombie up off the ground by her hair and then placed its hand on her shoulder and pushed down hard, effectively tearing her head off.

Two of the other Zombies turned their attention to the giant, but they too were quickly torn to pieces by the larger creature. The other Zombies started to run alongside the Professor and Kirsteen.

The larger Zombie seemed to go to for the other members of its kind, allowing Kirsteen and the old man to escape back down another corridor.

At the end of that corridor was a dead end. “No it can’t be” The old man screamed in frustration.

Kirsteen saw that the larger Zombie was coming their, holding the severed head of one of its victims in one hand. It moved a lot faster than its large size would suggest. Kirsteen prepared to try and run past the monster, but the old man held her back.

“Trust me you wouldn’t make it, get behind me”, he said as he raised his cane in defence.

Just then a blue circle started to appear at the end of the corridor. “Quick get in” the old man shouted as he pulled Kirsteen into the circle.

The larger Zombie suddenly ran at its two intended victims with a look of panic on its face, but before he could reach them, the old man and Kirsteen vanished in a blue light.

Kirsteen suddenly found herself in a large, brightly lit room with a massive book case behind her, and a massive 20 inch screen tv and some recliner chairs in front of her. At the very centre of the room hung a massive gold chandelier.

On the left hand side of room were two huge wooden doors, whilst on the right hand side was a large dining area, fit with a huge 20 foot long table, and a small kitchen behind it.  There were several, scared looking people huddled together over the table. There were about 6 people in total. One of them, an old man was constantly downing several shots of whisky.  They all looked as though they had come from different eras. One, the youngest boy at the back looked like a little street urchin, whilst another appeared to be dressed in a confederate uniform from the wars of independence. At the back of the table was a young, attractive woman with long dark hair who appeared to be separate from the others. She looked less confused and disoriented and was holding a strange device. The woman rushed towards the old man as soon as he arrived.

“I’m so sorry Professor. I had to temporarily get rid of the portal when that creature discovered it. He would have used it to come here and.”

“That’s quite alright Lindsey I understand, the important thing is that we got the last survivor, now we can get out of here.”

“Excuse me” Kirsteen shouted. “Can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on here? Am I on drugs again? Are you lot hallucinations.”

Lindsey approached Kirsteen. “Relax don’t worry, we’re here to help you. You’ve been abducted by aliens. That ship my friend here, Professor Fang rescued you from, it collided with ours. We’re not sure who created it yet, but it appears to run on magic.”

“Magic!” Kirsteen shrieked in surprise. “Aliens is one thing, but magic?”

One of the people at the back suddenly piped up, a young woman in her 20s. “Hang on a minute she looks like Kirsteen Williamson.”

“She could very well be”. Professor Fang said as he tinkered with some device by the wall.

“But that’s impossible, she died about 30 years ago!”

“So?” the Professor said. “I told you I haven’t had time to check what era we’re in, but we could very well be 30 years in your past, or 1000, or we could be in another universe altogether. Most of you are from different times. Still if you’ll give me a few minutes though we can find out where we are.” He said somewhat impatiently.

Kirsteen was deeply disturbed by this conversation and begged Lindsey to let her go. There was something about Lindsey that seemed non malicious. Even in this strange environment, Kirsteen didn’t feel threatened by her. Professor Fang however was a different story. Even though he had saved her life, there was something off putting about Fang. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

“Please we don’t really know what’s going on here either, but we’re doing the best we can. Just trust us, you’re safe in here.” Lindsey assured Kirsteen.

The others started to protest, but Fang quickly shut them down by slamming his stick on the table.

“I don’t like any of you being here either. This is my home, and I’m normally very picky about who I let stay here. Still we all have to stick together for the time being. Not all of you were lucky enough to get this far, or need I remind you.”

A deathly silence fell over the room.

“Exactly, now please give us some peace while we try and get us all out of this situation.”

After Fang and Lindsey left the room, Kirsteen went over to the table. The people almost didn’t pay attention to her they were so wrapped up in their own problems.

“So” Kirsteen said somewhat awkwardly. “Any chance any of you could tell me who, or rather what took us here.”

Only one of them answered Kirsteen, the old man that had been drinking the whisky, who was dressed in somewhat tattered clothes. ”

“None of us do. We’re all from different times it would seem. I’m from the year 3892. There I was, in the middle of the fight of my life with the Vampire scum, Felesca, and his pet Tyrannosaurus when suddenly I was in a tiny little room, with several rotting corpses pounding on my door.

“I’m sorry did you say Vampire?”

“Yes. I can only assume you come from a time before their filth covers our entire world? I’m convinced the man who brought us here is one of them.

“A Vampire?”

“Yes, I know one when I see it. I’ve spent years running away from them to know one when I see it. Still I don’t think he’s behind the ship. Him and that girl, they’ve got something else in mind for us. If they try anything though don’t worry. I’ve killed more than my fair share of those bloodsucking monsters.”

Meanwhile the Professor and Lindsey had made their way to the control room. It had been somewhat damaged in the crash, but fortunately not only could the Professor repair it in no time, but the ship had a sort of magical healing factor that would repair any damage automatically anyway.

“Honestly you’d think they’d be grateful we pulled them out of that nightmare” The Professor said to Lindsey as he adjusted the controls.

“To be fair Professor, we may have been the ones who got them into this awful mess.”

“Nonsense my dear. You heard them. They were prisoners on board that ship before I eh crashed into it. Its strange that we didn’t find any pilots when we were searching for the survivors.”

“Apart from those horrors. God do I hate Zombies. I’ve never met one I liked you know. Even Vampires and Demons can be pleasant, but Zombies? They’re always bad company.”

“I quite agree my dear, but still there is no way those brutes could build a craft like that. No this is something else. Once we’ve gotten those people back to their own time, then I intend to investigate.”

The Professor attempted to start the ship, but nothing happened. He heard a strange whirring sound for a few seconds afterwards, before trying the controls again. This time however there was a crashing sound and the whole ship began to shake violently for a few minutes.

“I don’t understand, it should have repaired itself by now” The Professor said as he opened up the controls.

“No everything is in place, I don’t know why it won’t take us out of here.”

Just then a strange noise, like someone groaning in pain began to echo through the ship.

“I don’t like the sound of this” Lindsey said as she began to check the communication device. “According to this there’s nothing coming through.”

“Of course not. This noise is poking its way into our very minds Lindsey.” The Professor said in a worried tone.

The voice began to speak.

“Please help me, you, you are the only ones who can. I was too weak to contact you again.”

“Who are you?” The Professor said defiantly.

“I am Gyster, I am the vessel you clumsily crashed into with that bat shaped excuse for a vehicle.”

“Gyster? Of course I should have known. I’d heard stories about you. A lot of people dismissed you as a legend, but I have a slightly more open minded than most.” The Professor said which made Lindsey roll her eyes somewhat.

“Who is Gyster” Lindsey asked trying to get the conversation back on track.

“Gyster is a time and space ship made from magic. It was constructed by the Frexeia civilisation. They built it to explore all of time and space. The magic used to build it however caused the ship to develop sentience as you can see for yourself.

The ship loved its crew however. They were its friends, they all enjoyed travelling through time and space together. When the crew died, according to the legends Gyster would begin abducting other beings from all of time and space to be his new crew. ” The Professor said.

Lindsey had sudden realisation. “Oh my god. Those Zombies, they were his previous crew members.”

“I didn’t kill them!” The voice protested.

“They died themselves of old age. Most of them were not happy at being taken at first, but in time most of them came to appreciate the lives I gave them. When they died I kept their corpses preserved in magic as a sign of respect.”

“There’s a huge but isn’t there”. Lindsey said.

“If my ship was ever breached by an outside menace, then I would bring them back as Zombies to protect my current crew.”

Both Lindsey and the Professor felt sick at the revelation.

“I was honouring them!” The voice protested. “I was giving them a chance to be heroes again after their passing. I was allowing them to save the next generation.”

“The ones I met didn’t seem to see it that way Gyster” The Professor said with disdain. “Why were they trying to kill your current crew?”

“That is on your head Vampire. When our vessels collided in the vortex, you ruptured my engine. The magic from my core seeped out and revived the Zombies. They’re crazed, feral, but they are the least of my problems. In a few hours the rupture will become so great that I will explode.”

Lindsey could see that the vessel’s words had affected Fang. “Well you could have looked where you were going too.” She snapped.

“Neither of you are leaving until you repair my core. Your vessel is caught in a trap of my creation. Its draining the energy from your core. It’ll put off my death by a couple of more hours. After that, I’ll die, but your vessel will be trapped here, powerless unable to move, and you’ll be caught in the blast.”

“I don’t intend to help you carry on taking people and defile their corpses. You’re a monster” Lindsey protested.

“Sadly we don’t have a choice I’m afraid. He holds all the cards for now. We need to fix that engine, for those people out there. We’ll talk about his poor lifestyle choices later” The Professor said in a grim tone.

“You will not take my new friends” The voice boomed! “This is the best collection I’ve ever assembled. Heroes, artists. They’re mine!”

“Like I said we’ll discuss that later. First let us teleport back to your ship.”

“I’m afraid not. If I let you have enough power to teleport then you would have enough power to break free. I docked my vessel beside yours.

“If you think that I’m going to make my way through those Zombies.” The Professor protested.

“Like you said. I hold all the cards.”

 

Doctor Who: The New Universe: Part 2

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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.

Just as all seemed lost 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 elevator. 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, 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.”

Just then the room 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 her 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 shell 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. They knew we would come here” the Doctor said to himself.

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 quickly 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, that 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 the other two 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 quickly pulled their tails from the hatch, not wanting to lose them like the earlier beast had, and the Doctor and Dana were able to close and seal the hatch shut.

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 to run or 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 its 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.”

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. Its 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. He might be a conceited, condescending know it all, but still he was probably their best bet of escape.

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, and behind the sea of monsters.

Having remembered how unstable the equipment was when she shot it earlier and hoped to provoke a larger explosion. 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. Its coming your way.”

“Yes thank you for your timely interruption, we are fleeing from that giant freak.”

“Its 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. Dana backed away slowly, absolutely terrified.

To be continued.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires Part 2: The Circus Folk

 

John Ferguson couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten so much, and considering he wasn’t what you’d call a light eater that was really saying a lot.

Ferguson was a gluttonous man in virtually all aspects of his life. Food, wine, women and especially wealth. He was notorious for his meanness and firing his employees for the most trivial issues.

Ferguson was the owner of a local flour mill. He was somewhat richer than other mill owners in London however which he always boasted was because he ran such a successful business. In truth however it was because of his cheapness. He’d not only pay his employees virtually non existent wages, but he’d stiff them as much as he could and cut as many corners in terms of health and safety as possible. Accidents were more common at his Mill than possibly any other in London with 6 people having died in the last year alone.

Ferguson was hated by all his employees and the local community alike, but he didn’t care. All Ferguson cared about was maintaining his own selfish, hedonistic lifestyle. Sadly for John Ferguson however, a life time of selfishness was about to catch up to him.

Ferguson often walked home alone and tonight was no exception. He hated having to waste money on a carriage, and he felt assured that due to his influence, no one would dare try and attack him in the dark.

This night would be different. As he stumbled drunkenly through the fogs of the London night (after having just celebrated another successful financial year at his favourite resturant.)

Ferguson spotted what looked like a shambling figure in the very distance, headed in his direction. “Probably a begger” he thought to himself and instinctively turned away. It soon became apparent to the miser however that the “begger” was following him.

“Oh great” he thought “I’ll have to actually push him away with my cane again. Why don’t these people learn?”

Ferguson approached the begger confidently. “Look sir, I don’t know who you are, and you clearly don’t know who I am or else you wouldn’t be bothering me. I’ve just had a big meal, I’d like to get home and”

The begger who still did his best to conceal his face behind a ragged hood interrupted Ferguson “Don’t worry I wouldn’t expect any show of humanity from you. Unfortunately for you” the figure raised his head, pulling his rags back, and revealing his hideous, monstrous face to a petrified Ferguson. “You can now expect the same from me.”

The figures skin was bright white and rock hard. Its features were long and pointed, whilst its mouth was filled with razor sharp teeth. Like all Vampires, its upper canines however were the longest. Its claws were tar black and long, whilst its hair was thinning and scraggly looking.

As John slowly backed away from the monster in terror, he thought that he could actually recognise the beast for a moment before his fear overcame him, and Ferguson raised his cane to the stranger in a pitiful attempt to defend himself. The monster however quickly batted the cane from his hand.

“Listen, whatever you are. If you harm me there will be consequences I can assure you. I’m not some useless beggar, or jumped up harlet. I’m.”

The monster interrupted Ferguson’s egocentric pleas. It spoke in a hideous, screeching hissing voice.

“Oh they’ll notice you’re gone, but only out of relief you’re finally gone. Come now, look closely at this face. The last you will ever see. Don’t you recognise me? Or do all the people whose lives you destroy just blur together as one inconsequential mess.”

Ferguson looked more closely at the aberration. There was indeed a creeping sense of familiarity in the Demonic visage.

It finally hit John when the monster raised its right arm from out of the robes it was wearing. John could clearly see that it had a stump where its right hand should be. “Of course. You’re that Richards bastard aren’t you. This your latest pathetic little prank to try and get back at me for your failure of a life?” Even in the face of certain death, Ferguson’s arrogance knew no bounds.

Richards had once worked in Ferguson’s mill. Due to his constant cutting corners however, Richards had lost an arm in one of Ferguson’s clumsy, filthy machines. After the accident he was deemed unfit for work, and unable to get another job. Tragically Richard’s daughter later died of rickets whilst his wife drank herself to death in grief.

Richards had always blamed Ferguson for what happened and eventually he tried to attack him in the street. Even with one hand Richards had managed to overpower Ferguson, but the police had quickly apprehended him. Ferguson through his connections was able to make sure that Richards would be in prison for life, but now he had seemingly escaped. Ferguson started to think that he wasn’t really a monster, and that Richards was just trying to scare him and remained defiant.

“Its not my fault you were so incompetent you had an accident, or that you were unable to provide for your own family. Its tragic what became of them, but that is your concern. This pathetic little attempt to scare me with that clown make up is not going to work. Now either you let me pass, or I’ll make sure they bloody well hang you this time for attempted murder.”

Richards was still unscared however, and simply let out a devilish smile before slashing the man he hated more than any other across the face.

Ferguson wasn’t used to pain, and the sudden shock alone was enough to bring him to his knees.

As he stared down at the pavement and saw his own blood drip onto the street, Ferguson had a sudden realisation of the danger he was in and jumped to his feet. Ferguson shouted out for help as he darted down the street as fast he could. There was no one around however, and even if there was no one could save him from the fury of an undead monster that wanted his blood.

Just when Ferguson thought he had escaped his undead tormentor, Richards suddenly jumped down in front of him. He hadn’t been chasing Ferguson at all. Richards had simply waited until the Mill owner was a good distance away, and then leaped in front of him. The Vampire must have jumped over 40 feet in the air, and could clearly see through the fog no problem.

Ferguson knew that didn’t have a chance of escape and so he now tried to bargain with the monster.

“Look Richards maybe we can come to some kind of arrangement. I can pull some strings, get you a lighter sentence.”

Richards wasn’t listening however. Instead he grabbed Ferguson’s right arm and bit hard into it, right through his skin, veins, muscle and even bone. With his teeth alone he ripped Ferguson’s hand clean off. Ferguson passed out from the pain and blood loss within seconds, but the Vampire wasn’t through torturing the miser yet.

Richards dug its claws into Ferguson’s back and lifted him up off the ground with one hand in a fantastic demonstration of superior Vampire strength.

Ferguson was a massive man. Richards in comparison looked tiny, yet here he was, balancing Ferguson above his head on one finger. If anyone else had been around it would have looked both a horrifying and most comical sight.

Richards threw Ferguson about 6 feet threw the air to the other side of the road. Ferguson landed head first, and for a second Richards was scared that he had finished his enemy too soon. When the Vampire went to examine him however he saw that unfortunately for Ferguson, he was still breathing!

The monster ran one of its massive claws along the bottom of Ferguson’s stomach and started to disembowel him. Ferguson awoke from the pain only to see his former, Demonic employee holding his intestines in its clawed hands as it started to lick them. The last sight Ferguson saw was Richards bearing down on him, hissing his blood soaked fangs, and spitting Ferguson’s own blood over his face.

“Come on love, any longer and we’ll be late” Carlene shouted to Brian as she stood by the door with Ashlei, Tom and Daniel. She heard no response for a few minutes and started to worry before Brian came staggering out of the bathroom, looking like badly made up bed.

“Sorry Miss Vampire, I, I don’t know what came over me.”

“Love, call me Carlene remember. Oh dear you look a right state darling. Here let me help you get ready.” Carlene said softly as she tended to the boy.

Ashlei sighed. “I don’t see why we’re bothering going to this circus. You said you saw the blue woman in the sewers? So tell the authorities and they’ll arrest her, problem solved.”

Carlene frowned. “I told you the authorities often aren’t equipped to deal with this sort of thing love. Besides all she did in the sewers was help me. Your little brother might not even be ere if it wasn’t for that blue siren. I need answers and I’m going to find them myself. Besides I would have thought you’d have wanted to go to the Circus. Its a day out.”

“I hate it. Big bright, flashy colours to distract idiots from how horrible their lives are.” Ashlei said bitterly.

“Well if it makes you feel any better its not exactly my scene either, but I suspect there’s something odd with this Circus and I want to find out.” Carlene replied firmly.

Whilst the two were arguing, Daniel sat absorbed in the morning paper. He had noticed that there was one more reported disappearance from last night, that of the local mill owner and tycoon, John Ferguson.

Ashlei smirked when she heard John had vanished. “Miserable old bastard” she said. “You wouldn’t have to be a Vampire to want to tear his neck out.”

“Ashlei” Carlene said sharply. “I don’t care who this man was, don’t ever talk that way about someone. Trust me when I say this. No deserves to die at the hands of a Vampire.”

Ashlei bowed her head somewhat. “I’m sorry, but he was the most mean spirited man I’ve ever come across. He kicked me one time when I tried to ask him for some food.”

“Ashlei’s right” Daniel interrupted. “There’s no shortage of ordinary people that would want to see John dead, but according to this” he handed the paper to Carlene. “William Richards, who had previously been arrested for an attempt on Ferguson’s life was broken out of prison the other day. The police don’t know how, but one witness, a drunken beggar claims to have seen a giant bat like creature rip the walls off of the prison wall.”

“It seems someone is using the book of to create new Vampire breeds after all. If only I knew where that bloody fool had kept it? Well hopefully the Circus folk can give us some kind of insight.” Carlene said as she went to check on Brian.

Brian came out of the bathroom dressed in a small penguin suit, looking a lot more energetic than before. Carlene had made sure they all had a good meal, a couple of hours rest and clean clothes to change into before going to the Circus. Naturally they had to look presentable to go to the Circus, but she couldn’t bare to see the children in those filthy rags for another second.

When the four arrived in the audience many heads turned towards Carlene. They often did, but this time the fact that she arrived with 4 children/teenagers shocked people all the more.

One gentleman in the audience felt so appalled that these children were with a Vampire of all creatures, that he had to interject.

“Please I don’t know what you want, but those are children.” He said in a scared, but still somewhat confident tone. Just then Brian surprisingly came to Carlene’s defence before any of the others could. “Get away you stupid sod. This woman here saved our lives whilst you were sitting on your arse, moaning about too many children playing across the road!”

The man backed down. Carlene patted Brian on the back, whilst Ashlei looked on in concern. She had never seen Brian react that way. He was normally such a calm, gentle, quiet little boy. It seemed the experience in the sewers had changed him somewhat.

The Circus of Tzas opened with the usual parade of animals doing tricks. The Circus Master was a huge colourful character on stage. He must have been roughly 6 foot 5 inches tall, with an enormous build, though he was still incredibly thin overall. He frock coat was bright red with gold decorations running down the lapels, whilst his hair was long, jet black and curly. Atop his head sat a tiny, but very long  bright blue top hat. He had thick, bright green gloves and yellow, stripped trousers. His face was very long thin and deathly pale. His eyes looked as though they were locked into a permanent scowl, whilst there was a constant, somewhat unsettling smile on his face. His voice was incredibly deep and booming, At times it didn’t even sound human. Many children in the audience appeared to find him quite scary at times, particularly those in the front row. Carlene took an instant disliking to the Circus Master. Why she couldn’t quite put her finger on. He didn’t seem evil, but she just didn’t like him.

Still everyone seemed entertained by the various antics. Even Ashlei, despite her dour, persona began to warm to some of the animal tricks. Right from the start Carlene however could see something was amiss about the whole thing. The Circus animals weren’t real. They were magical illusions. Carlene could only tell thanks to her heightened Vampire senses.

She could smell the magic off of them. The Circus Master himself didn’t seem human either. There was something about him that didn’t seem right. Carlene had been around enough Vampires, Demons and other unnatural creatures in her long life to know when one was trying to pass as a human.

She felt the same way about one of the later acts, a small child called The Strange Boy. The Strange Boy was Chinese and also deathly pale in appearance. He didn’t say a word, and his expressions also seemed completely blank.

Nevertheless the boy didn’t have to say anything. He amazed the crowd through displays of almost impossible strength. He crushed several large blocks of stone with his bare hands, and he lifted another performer, a 7 foot tall, bear of a man called Keptis (who dressed in strange armour) above his head no problem.

A young black woman (already a most unusual sight in Victorian England) named Denika also performed various tricks which were clearly the work of magic. She conjured up images of the most fantastic creatures and beasts that both terrified and amazed the crowd.

Finally the blue Siren who Carlene had seen the night before performed a closing song. The Circus Master introduced her as Florence Faith. Just as in the Underground Carlene was the only one not completely enchanted by the strange blue skinned, flame haired songstress. Even Ashlei was utterly mesmerised.

Carlene knew the Siren’s song was magic, and that it could entrance anyone (according to the legends) but she still couldn’t help but feel a little bit jealous. In all her years as a singer, she had never won over a crowd to that extent she thought.

When the Circus was finished, Carlene waited behind. She wanted to speak with the performers herself. The three children waited with her. They wanted to find out what these creatures were just as much. Ashlei meanwhile had calmed down a little after hearing the Sirens song and was a bit more laid back than before.

Carlene assured them that they would be safe. In spite of the fact that they weren’t human, Carlene did not think that the Circus folk whoever they were, were actually evil.

She waited just outside the main tent, having managed to sneak her way in there without making a sound.

Keeping hidden behind two barrels, Carlene saw the Circus Master standing outside the tent holding what looked like a strange sphere. All round him where the various animals and performers. One by one the performers walked past him into the tent. Denika, The Strange Boy, Keptis and finally the Siren, Florence Faith.

Just then the Circus Master utter a strange sounding chant and the Circus animals vanished into nothing but a puff of smoke, before the Circus Master joined the others.

“By god you were right” said Daniel in an exasperated tone. “These fellows aren’t human.”

“Neither am I” said Carlene as she moved closer to the tent to inspect it. Carefully Carlene lifted something out of her beehive. A long bottle of green liquid.

“What’s that” Ashlei asked.

“Its a little something I picked up from the future. A powerful magical recipe. First created in the year 1963. It can freeze an entire area like a building that’s made of magic and all of those in it for a short while. This entire tent is made from magic.”

“How can you tell”

“Trust me I can. A little dab of this and this tent and all in it will be trapped. Only for a few moments of course after which they’ll be perfectly fine they won’t even know what’s happened. It will allow us to enter the tent and make sure that they’re on the level, find out if there’s anything they know or not. After all, can’t be too sure. I have an instinct that they’re not evil, but instincts aren’t enough”

As Carlene sprinkled the potion on the Tent however nothing happened at first.

“That’s odd” Carlene said somewhat worried. “Normally this works right away and we start to see a”

Before the Vampire could finish however she suddenly felt a faint feeling coming over her. She started to black out, but she quickly regained her senses only to see she was now in a totally different place from before.

The Vampire had materialised in a large room with stone walls, floor and ceiling. At the far end of the room looked like a living area. There were 3 recliner chairs, and a massive couch perched in front of what looked like a massive television set and a 21st century video game system above the television. Behind the living quarters were several bunk beds.

“How can they possibly have all this in the 19th century” Carlene thought.

As she looked around the room she saw on the far right side what looked like a work area where Denika was tinkering away with some strange device. In the centre of the room, just behind where Carlene had arrived massive fountain, with green water.

All of the walls were decorated with various paintings from what looked like different eras, whilst on the left side of the room was a massive book case over 20 feet tall.

“Who are you” barked the Circus Master who emerged from behind the fountain alongside the Strange Boy, Keptis and Florence.

Carlene turned around to defend herself but found she couldn’t move to fight or even run away. Clearly this was the inside of the tent. It looked about the same size from the outside. Whatever magics had constructed the tent had not only repelled her magics, but pulled her inside and were now keeping her firmly in place.

“Relax we’re not going to hurt you” The Circus Master said firmly. “I just want to know why and how you were trying to tamper with my ship.”

“Ship?” Carlene said in confusion?

“Its okay” Florence interrupted. “This is the woman I met in the sewers yesterday. She helped save those children. At least I think.”

Just then, Daniel, Tom, Brian and Ashlei came charging in through the tent doors, which still looked like cloth on the inside rather than stone.

“Get away from her you freaks” Ashlei who was ahead of the three boys and wielding a pipe shouted.

“Relax young lady. We’re not here to hurt any of you, I just need to know why you’re here.” The Circus Master said to the four urchins.

Carlene spoke up. “I’m here about the book of Khastran.”

All of the Circus Folk gave Carlene a look, except for the Strange Boy who continued to stare into space.

“Someone has found it from wherever Van Helsing left it and is using it to create new Vampire species around London. I had a run in with one as did your friend here in the underground, but it looks like there’s still at least one new breed out there.”

The Circus Master was quick to correct Carlene. ” We’ve only been here for a few days, but at my last count there’s about 15 new breeds. created in the last few months or so.

“Fifteen? But that’s not possible?” Carlene gasped. “I would have known.”

“Whoever is doing this has a clear plan. They want to create an army of Vampires. They’re keeping them hidden until the time is right, only turning the best people into Vampires. Or should I say the worst. Vampires represent all the darkest qualities of humanity let loose. People who were scum in life, or full of anger, regret, bitterness. They always make the most effective Vampires. This city, full of corruption, poverty, and greed is the perfect place for them to create an army” The Circus Master said with regret. “Then again just about any city throughout history is. Wherever there are people, there will always be enough resentment and anger to make more Vampires”

“How did you track them down” Carlene asked.

“Well we knew they were here from the start. We were told to track them down.”

“By who?”

“It would take too long to explain, and besides I have some questions I would like to ask of you young lady.” The Circus Master said. “How did you come into possession of magics that powerful?”

“It would take too long to explain” Carlene said sarcastically.

“From the looks of things it seems neither of us belong to this time.” Carlene continued as she glanced round at the television set in the corner.

Just then a strange look of surprise and delight came over the Circus Masters face and he went to consult his books.

“What do you mean” said Denika, who up until now had largely ignored Carlene and focused on her work.

“Well I’m just saying I know that technology at the back won’t be around for about 100 years at least, and that the magics I used to try and freeze this tent are far more powerful than just about anything a Wizard in Victorian London is likely to have.”

Before Denika could respond, Carlene suddenly felt herself able to move again.

“Sorry, I now know who you are. You’re Carlene aren’t you.” The Circus Master said as put a book he just skimmed through back on the shelf.

“Who?” Denika said in response?

“She’s a Vampire, but don’t worry she’s one of the few nice ones alongside our friend Florence. She was thrust through time by powerful magics and now fights evil on the streets of London. Am I right?”

“Pretty much. How do you know all that?”

“Well lets just say you’re right. We’re not of this time either. Unlike you however we’re not trapped. We can move freely through time and space, though everywhere we go, we have a mission to complete.”

“A mission from who.” Carlene said with interest.

“Time itself. You can’t change history. Not in the slightest. This ship sends us to places we were always supposed to go, events we were always supposed to make happen. That’s still no guarantee that we’ll win. If we fail then history takes a different course, and we are banished to the same place all of those who don’t belong in the universe go. The Abyss.

“What’s the Abyss”

“It exists outside our universe. You can travel through time, you can make your own history, but like I said you can’t change it in any way. Once you do, you become an anomaly. Suppose you went backwards in time to prevent a war, well then in the new timeline the war would never have happened, so you’d never have gone backwards in time to try and fix it. Then however, the war would happen, and so you would go back to fix it, but then it wouldn’t happen so you wouldn’t and so on, and so on.”

“A paradox like that upsets the natural order and is danger of poisoning everything around it.” He continued. “So to prevent it from happening, the Guardians of the Abyss would hunt you down and imprison you there. There is no time in the Abyss. You’ll live forever, trapped with other lost souls.”

“It sounds like hell” Ashlei said.

“In many ways it is. Like I said however its not just if you change history. Its if you fail to make your own. For instance imagine you come from the 21st century and you travel backwards in time and fail to save the earth from a contemporary threat in the 19th century. Even if you survive, then you will now be anomaly from an erased time line and the Abyss will claim you. There’s no way you can escape the Guardians. They can travel anywhere to any time.”

“You sound like you talk from experience.” Carlene said.

The Circus Master didn’t reply for a few moments before continuing as if Carlene hadn’t even spoke.

“You can see how time travelling comes at a price Vampire. In many ways we are all prisoners here until time has had enough of us. If we dare try to leave before then we could be changing time and the Guardians will come for us. They’re hideous creatures.”

“How do you know what you’re sent here to do though?” Carlene asked. “For all you know you could be changing history by killing these Vampires?”

The Circus Master pointed towards the fountain. “When we first arrive a vision will appear in the fountain. It will guide us on what we have to do. Its still often vague mind you. This time though it was reasonably clear. It showed us a vision of the new Vampire breeds, and the Book of Khastran.”

Carlene took a minute or so to take this all in. Even for the type of life she had led, a time travelling magic circus seemed a bit much. She wondered what it must have been like for the children!

“So what’s your stories then. I mean you seem to know everything about me, its only polite I know a bit more about you.” Carlene said somewhat nervously to the Circus Folk.

“I quite agree” the Circus Master responded in a somewhat chipper tone. “Well we are all going to be working together.”

“Working together” Denika interrupted?

“Yes” The Circus Master said as he looked round at the rest of the Circus Folk who seemed to understand what he meant.

“Thanks darling. I was hoping that you lot would help us out. I knew you weren’t evil.” Carlene said.

The Circus Master had a somewhat smug look on his face. Like he knew something the others didn’t.

Denika would be the first to speak. All of the Circus Folk seemed eager to tell their stories. It wasn’t often that they got to share them with people outside their circle as they were so outrageous.

We are all from different times” Denika said. “I’m from the 21st century like you, at least originally. I grew up on another world, in another universe to this one.

“You’re not serious!” Tom said in shock, which earned him disapproving looks from almost everyone in the room. “Right of course sorry do go on” he said somewhat sheepishly.

“Me and my parents were abducted when I was just a baby.” Denika continued. “My parents practised magic. It had been in my family for generations. We were taken by members of an alien race called The Melirsek  to another universe in another realm. In this universe, space was an ocean teeming with life. You could swim from one planet to another. As long as you could hold your breath long enough.

The world I was taken to was under constant attack from a race of predators that dwelled within the oceans of that universe called the Grestalerik. The Melirsek had created magical barriers around their worlds to prevent the monsters from swimming into their planet.

The Melirsek’s magic was no longer effective in repelling the monsters however. So they travelled to different universes to try and find a way to harness the magic of other realities to use against these monsters. They’d capture magical creatures from all over the omniverse, and grind their bodies up to harness the magic from their bones which they’d use to power the shield around their planet that protected them.

Both of my parents were ground up. I was only spared because one of the guards named Glissberg took pity on me, a helpless infant and got me out of there. He and his wife Rassberg would later raise me. Though they kept me sheltered from the rest of the world for the first 18 years or so of my life. The name they gave me was from my parents.

I was the only humanoid on that planet so I’d tend to stick out in a crowd. I hope. They’d only let me out for a walk night, when everyone was asleep. I can remember staring up at the green waters of the sky. You could see hundreds of those monsters staring down at us, slabbering at the thought of being able to break through the shield..”

“Why didn’t the Gresta-whatever go to another world”. Said Carlene.

“Once the Grestalerik set their sights on a planet they will not leave until they have consumed it. They would have waited until the universe burnt itself out just to get us.”

Denika continued “Considering my parents were giant amorphous blob like creatures I had a reasonably happy and stable up bringing. My mother would teach me the magic of her universe, whilst the magics of my own came naturally to me thanks to my bloodline. Magic would be my only release all those years spent cramped up alone. I even used to conjour up friends. They weren’t real of course. Just figments of my imagination, but they filled a void.

Sadly when I was 18 I got too stir crazy being locked up all the time and so I went out one night by myself. I was exploring the beautiful Mizian gardens when a couple of blobs saw me. There was widespread panic at a “monster” being loose in the city. My parents were forced to go into hiding with me. It was a rough couple of years, but it was nothing compared to what was to come.”

She paused for a moment as she recounted what came next.

The Grestalerik eventually found a way to break through the barriers and decimated my, their world. All of my life I had been terrified of the blobs. Now I pitied them.

As the last of the blobs huddled together underground they tried to construct a giant vessel that could allow us to travel through the waters of my universe. I helped them. Its funny how people or blobs will forget their prejudices when faced with certain death.

Unfortunately just as we were about to take off, the Grestalerik found and attacked our base underground. It was a massacre. Only about 3 of us got out. My parents were among those the creature butchered.

We travelled the oceans of the universe for many years searching for a new world, but we never found one. Eventually the vessel broke down and I was left stranded on Narsika. A planet that brings out your darkest and most feral urges to the fore. Some say it isn’t a world, but a Demon that lures people there to turn into monsters to set loose on the universe. According to legend the most feared and evil creatures of my universe all originated on Narsika including the Grestalerik themselves. I managed to fight the planet’s influence, but sadly my ship mates all succumbed to it and became Demons. I surely would have too, if The Circus Master hadn’t found me. He rescued me and brought back to my universe and I’ve never looked back.”

“You’ve been nothing but an asset to this team my dear” The Circus Master said proudly. “Your knowledge of magics is far greater than anyone I’ve ever come across. I can’t think of how many times we’d be dead without you.”

Carlene could see Denika was getting a bit awkward at the praise, so she tried to change the subject. “What about you, eh Florence, what’s your deal.”

“I come from this time”. The Siren spoke in a somewhat posh, refined very English voice. It was the antithesis to how Carlene spoke.

“There will be a young me running about playing with her friends not too far from here, with no comprehension of the horrors ahead of her. Then again the same is true for most children of this time. I was born to a high class family.”

“Yeah we can tell” said Ashlei.

“Anyway,” Florence continued somewhat annoyed. “I was born to a high class family who spoiled me terribly growing up. My biggest passion was always the ocean. When I was a little girl I fell off a boat. It was a cruise my parents had booked. Whilst they were off hobnobbing with their elitist friends, I went off exploring and had an accident. I couldn’t swim so when I fell I sunk right away. I was under the water for just a few minutes before someone found me. During that time however I saw a sight that would change my life forever. It was a woman with long flowing red hair, but her bottom half was, well a fish.”

“A Mermaid” Tom said in surprise, still shocked that anything could actually surprise him after today.

“Yes, a Mermaid. She was carrying what looked like some kind of weapon. I can still remember her face even after all these years. She did nothing to help me. She saw I was there, but she just swam by me. My dad who’d been alerted to what happened, dove in and saved me.

I was shaken by it at first understandably. I thought the Mermaid must just have been an illusion. As time went on however I became obsessed with the ocean. The Mermaid showed me that there was an entire world under the waves, one we’d hardly scratched the surface of. I wanted to know as much as I could. I learned how to swim, would always go to the beach whenever I could, I’d beg my parents to book me on more cruises. A lot of people found my obsession with the sea rather peculiar, but I had a good life. When I was in my 20s I married a wonderful man named James and we had a beautiful girl named Daisy. Sadly however my obsession with ocean would doom me and my family.” She paused. “I would force my husband, who also came from a wealthy family to book us all a place on what was then the largest cruise liner ever built. The Titanic.

Carlene could see where the story was going, though naturally the name Titanic meant nothing to the three children.

“Yes the famous doomed ship. What a lot of people don’t know is that it was actually sunk by a group of ocean dwelling Vampires. Sirens.”

“Sirens? You mean like what you are” Said Ashlei, somewhat nervously.

“I always believed that the Sirens were nothing more than a myth.” Carlene said

“Sadly not” Florence continued. “Sirens are among the oldest breed of Vampire on the earth. They have hypnotic voices which they used to lure their victims towards them. Older Sirens can place someone under their hypnotic control for days at a time. It doesn’t work on other supernatural creatures, like other breeds of Vampire” she said whilst looking at Carlene.

“The Sirens were able to take control of the Captain of the Titanic and force him to hit that ice berg. When it sunk there were plenty of humans for the blood suckers to pick off. A bigger feast than they would have ever had before or since, but to the world at large it would just look like the ship had gone down in an accident.

During the commotion I became separated from James and Daisy and trapped on the lower deck. I thought I was done for until I saw a mysterious figure emerge from the freezing water that flooded the corridor. I sometimes wish that I had just let the water sweep me away.

It was the leader of the Siren pack. He had been a Viking in life whose ship had been sunk by the Sirens. He must have seen some potential in me to turn me. What I don’t know, but I don’t even remember being turned. I just remember him grabbing me, sinking his fangs into my neck, and then the next thing I knew I was under the water. At first I paniced, but it didn’t take me long to realise that I had changed. I didn’t need to breath anymore, I didn’t even feel the cold and I felt. Stronger!

I swam to surface and there I saw bits and pieces of people floating in an ocean that ran red with blood. The worst thing about it was I found the sight beautiful! There were a few people left, floating on rafts. I can remember one poor young girl in particular, the Sirens spent ages circling her like Sharks to torment her. When the rescue boat, the Carpathia arrived she tried to call out to them by they couldn’t hear her. As it started to leave she tried to jump into the water after the Carpathia, but the monsters tore her to pieces.

I’d stay with the Sirens for over 50 years after. I’d help them sink boats, capture Mermaids and Cecilia’s to prey on. I’d finally got a chance to be a part of the world that had fascinated me for so long, but it was a monster terrorizing it.”

“What made you change?” Carlene asked.

“One day my pack captured a Mermaid family. There was nothing special about that of course. We’d kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of Mermaids over the decades. The mother of this family however was the first Mermaid I had seen as a child.

I owed her nothing. She had let me sink when I was just a child, but looking at her after all of these years reminded me just for a second of the person I used to be. A second was all it took. I spent so many years burying everything that I actually was, allowing the Demon inside me to take me over that when I got that glimpse of my old life it was enough to destroy me.

I was able to feel pity, remorse and compassion for the first time in decades. After I rescued her I could feel my humanity slipping again, so I travelled back to the place I had lost it. The wreck of the Titanic.

I spent ages swimming round the wreck of the once deemed unsinkable vessel. It all came flooding back to me, no pun intended. The life I once had, the family I’d left behind. I spent ages in the cabin me and my family had spent the journey in.”

“I can relate” Carlene said softly.

“I know what that feeling is like. Its like you’re between life and death. Everything that was you is gone. Replaced by nothing but hunger and rage, but there’s still a tiny, teeny little grain of you in there. Enough to be aware of the nightmare your trapped in, forever.”

“Yes” Florence said with regret. “That was it exactly. I couldn’t go back to being one of them so I tried to go back to my old life. I finally made it to New York. 50 years too late, but still. It took me a long while to find out what happened to my family.

James had been shamed as a coward for the rest of his life. He wasn’t a coward. He did everything he could to save me, but when I was lost he had to save Daisy. He jumped onto one of the vessels with her. If he hadn’t then Daisy would have lost both her parents.

Sadly he was forever branded as a coward. Stupid brainless sheep. None of them could imagine the desperation and the terror of being on that ship as it went down. Even before the Sirens came. The water was burning to the touch. I’ve never felt anything like it.

It wasn’t just James who suffered from the accusations. Daisy did too. She was constantly bullied as the daughter of a coward at school, people refused to be her friend, or even associate with her because of who her dad was. She was always so devastated to read those horrible things about her father, to see him portrayed as a cowardly, pathetic villain in those stupid movies they made about the Titanic.

Sadly I never got reunite with James and tell him that it wasn’t his fault what happened to me, and that I was proud of him for saving our daughter and making sure she had a good quality of life. He died in the mid 50s. I would get a chance to reunite with Daisy however.

She knew the truth about what happened on the Titanic. She was only 4 years old, but she had seen the monsters drag the others into the water on that fateful night. She had since moved to London and come to work for Rentros, an organisation designed to track down supernatural threats. When I first reunited with her in the late 60s she tried to kill me. It took her a long while to see that I was different, but we did eventually make peace, and we worked together for many years afterwards. She finally passed away in the early 80s.

I was by her bed when she died. I honestly felt like giving up then. No parent should have to outlive their child, but she told me to keep on going, and that I had a duty to use my powers to help others. I’m glad I kept my promise. Just a few years later I met the Circus Master and joined him and the others on their travels. I can never make up for the lives I destroyed when I was with the Sirens, but I can at least honour my daughters memory and promise to help others across all of time and space.”

“That’s really the only way we can beat the evil force inside us” Carlene said. “We can’t destroy it, but we can control it and make it a force for good in the world.”

“Yes well no offence intended ladies, but generally speaking I’m going to say that Vampires are not nice to know.” Said Keptis from the back.

Carlene could see he was repulsed at the very sight of the two women. He tried to hide it to some extent, but it was obvious that this strange, towering green warrior could barely stand to be in the presence of two Vampires.

“So what’s your story then?” Carlene asked, almost not sure if she should. Keptis paused for a minute before continuing. Unlike Florence, Keptis clearly hadn’t made peace with his past.

I am a native of the red planet, Mars. I was born close to several thousand years before your time Vampire” the last word he said with disdain.

“Back then Mars was a beautiful, green world teeming with life. My people built a thriving and advanced civilisation.”

“Amazing” Ashlei said from the back. “To think Mars was once like earth.”

Keptis seemed offended at the notion, but kept his cool. “Mars was nothing like earth. Your planet has been infested with Demons, Vampires and unnatural monsters for millenia. Our world never knew the touch of evil. We were a peaceful, rational people. We never knew magic, or the paranormal even existed. That would prove to be our downfall.

Several thousand years ago I was part of an expedition to visit the earth, our giant blue sister planet that had always perplexed and fascinated us. When we landed humanity was at a primitive stage. They mistook us for monsters had been terrorizing their village when we first arrived. Of course we assumed that it was just the usual superstitious primitives. If only we’d listened to them. The pack of Vampires that had been preying on the village attacked our ship at night. Our lasers had very little effect on them, but we were able to take off before the monsters tore us to pieces. Unfortunately one of our team, our captain, Blasara was bitten. We thought it was just an infection and so we rushed him back to our planet to try and help him.

Sadly he turned after we got him back to Mars. He went on to infect another, and another, and another. Soon our planet was overrun with monsters. They slaughtered most of us and kept others alive in cages. Bled them like animals, tortured them for their own amusement. We tried to master magics to use against the Vampires, but it was too late.

We were such amateurs our magic often did more harm than good for our world. That was how I ended up on your planet. It was a spell, designed to send the evil of the Vampires back to where it came from, but again, my people were such rank amateurs it back fired on us. Instead we were sent screaming across the solar system to your planet. Well actually only 3 of us made the trip. The magics were so crude and dangerous that they tore most of us apart. The three of us who were left floating through space meanwhile, the magics affected us in different ways. I was kept in a state of stasis and drifted aimlessly for years. I was the lucky one. Not only was I unaware for the entire journey, but the effects of the magic gave me a much longer life. I’m over 700 years old. Sadly of my two comrades, one was in a state of constant agony throughout the entire journey and driven insane, whilst another was turned into a hideous monster. When we arrived on the earth, I’d be forced to spend many years fighting both of them.

As the centuries rolled on I would stare up in the sky and think back to the world I had left behind. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to return, not that it would have made a difference anyway. Travelling across planets is something that only the most skilled, and powerful sorcerers can manage.

I couldn’t bare not knowing what became of my people. I felt like a traitor for not helping them. Still I couldn’t help but be relieved at being giving a chance to escape from the nightmarish war that had consumed my planet.

Many centuries later I met the Circus Master where I learned what had become of Mars. The Vampires completely destroyed it. Its now a dead, barren lifeless world. All traces of our once great civilisation are gone. Please forgive me eh, Carlene is it? I’m sure you are a hero in your own right. I trust the Circus Masters judgement on most things, but I can never fully accept you or Florence for what you are. I’m sorry.”

“As long as you don’t try to stake me, I don’t give a shit love.” Carlene said somewhat coarsely. Florence however was clearly more upset by Keptis’ words. He had always been somewhat cold to her, but the two had still always fought side by side, and even risked their lives for one another as all the Circus Folk had. Florence understood his hatred of Vampires, but she had hoped that after all this time he had come to see her as his friend as much as the others.

The Circus Master broke the awkward silence. “Well I guess that just leaves me then. I am the oldest of any of you here. I was born several hundred years before this era, during a time when my kind ruled over Europe. The Vandals.”

“Ah” Carlene said. “Now I know why I didn’t like you. No offence.”

“None taken.”

“Excuse me, what’s a Vandal?” Ashlei said.

The Circus Master explained. “A Vandal is type of Demon that feeds on the souls of the living. We were created from the Kardons, the same Demon race that gave rise to the Vampires. Our father was a rival of Khastran’s. Just as Vampires use their fangs to drain blood, then we use our claws” he said as his finger nails grew into massive long talons. “To suck out the souls of natural creatures. We too were created from a book bound in the Kardon’s flesh. There also hundreds of different species of Vandals just like Vampires, all with our own unique powers.

Vampires and Vandals despise one another. There’s a lot of bad blood shall we say there, but the hatred is also instinctual. It can be overcome, but it takes a lot of effort.

The Vampires and the Vandals have warred with one another for centuries, but in the time I was born, the 14th century Vandals had won. They ruled over Europe and helped shape its history from about the 12th century to the late 17th. Even today their influence can still be found on our society. They are a dying empire however. By the early 20th century their entire empire will be gone.

Still when I was a man they wielded all the power over Europe. As a man I was nothing more than a petty criminal, but that’s why the Vandals turned me. Much like Vampires they desire to turn only the worst examples of humanity into their own kind. I was simply part of a cull of criminals to be turned into Vandals.

For years I was part of their army to hunt down and kill any remaining Vampires over Europe. We weren’t heroes. We just wanted humanity all to ourselves. I killed hundreds of innocent people.

Ironically however the Vampires would prove to be my salvation. A group of powerful Vampire Witches managed to capture my platoon of Vampire killers. They wanted to use magic to take control of our minds and use us as spies against the Vandals. However mind control magics have never worked on Vandals or indeed Vampires. We have a higher immunity to magic overall. Still they tried to tamper with our minds.

All of my comrades died in agony. Its strange in a way. They were monsters. We all were and they had tortured and killed innocent people. They absolutely deserved what the Vampires did to them, but we’d been together so long, even today I can’t help but feel regret at not being able to help them. I was the last they experimented on, and luckily for me it seemingly worked. I was under the Vampires control for a few months and helped to betray the Vandals. Eventually however the magics wore off, but they had an unintended effect on my mind. The Vampires clearly had no idea of the magics they were tampering with. The magics freed the Demon’s influence over my mind. Allowed me to feel remorse for the first time in years. Though to be honest I never really felt much remorse for my crimes for a while. I wasn’t exactly a shining example of humanity remember. I became a mercenary, willing to work for anyone who would pay me. I even did some work for the Vampires again.

Things would change for me however when I was assigned as part of a special mission to infiltrate and destroy the Vandals greatest weapon. This Circus!

The Vandals had access to magic from all over the continent they ruled. Over the centuries they hoped to build a vessel that could travel across time and space. They knew there were other worlds and they hoped to explore them and expand their power. Also with a time machine they believed they would become invincible. Any time they failed in an invasion, they would just go back and change it. If only they had known the truth about changing history they might not have bothered!

They disguised the time ship as a Circus in order to throw people off its real purpose, but my team were able to infiltrate the place they were building the time vessel. In the fight I managed to make it inside and in my panic I set it off.

It sent me far away across all of time and space to the Andromeda Galaxy. I’d spend years trying to get home, until I eventually met another time traveller. Professor Fang.

“Who?”

“He is a Vampire, just like you and Florence who managed to overcome his violent instincts. He was a great wizard and scientist in life. He built his own time machine in the shape of a giant bat. He was a truly remarkable man. It took the Vandals hundreds of years with access to magics all over Europe to build this, and after it was gone, they would never build another before their empire fell. Professor Fang built his on his own in less than a century! I first I didn’t like him. Not just because he was a Vampire. He was a genius, but he really loved to show it.

His companion, Lindsey I believe her name was, was lovely. Very sweet girl, but dear god was he a conceited show off. Still I do owe him a huge debt. He adjusted this machine so that it would only take us to places we needed to go, and would give us a vision of what we had to do. With all the reckless time travelling I was doing before, I’m amazed the Guardians never came after me. I didn’t bother to ever really get involved however before Fang fixed my ship. I guess that’s what saved me.

I only agreed to Professor Fang’s idea because I wanted some thrills. As time went on however I came to love what I was doing for different reasons. For hundreds of years I’d been a worthless Demon, and before that I’d been an even more worthless man. Now I could see that what I was doing was having a real positive difference. I never wanted to go back to being the person I was. I may not even be human anymore but I’m a much better man now than I ever was.”

“What about the boy” Carlene asked, not sure if she even wanted to know the story of this strange, sad looking child who hadn’t moved an inch the entire time.

“The Strange Boy? None of us knew him in life. He is a member of the Jiang Shi breed of Vampire. They are among the strongest, most vicious and feral Vampires. They are as single minded as animals.” The Circus Master explained.

“Yes I know, I’ve encountered them before. Vicious buggers. Really tough to kill too.” Carlene said.

“When the Strange Boy was infected by a Vampire, his mother attempted to find a way to stop the infection from spreading. She used all of the magics she could, and it seemed to work at first, but the boy slowly as time went on became more Vampiric.

First he didn’t age.  Even when his mother was old. Then he grew stronger than even the largest man in the villager. Then he started to lose his speech just like the Jiang Shi, and slowly his mind too. However underneath it all, he always retained some form of morality. Unlike the other Jiang Shi Vampires he never preyed on people, and fought other Demons and monsters. He became an ally of Master Kau, one of the greatest Jiang Shi killers of all time. When Kau passed on however he was forced to wander the fields of Beijing all alone until we found him.

I don’t know how much of the boy he once was is left there. He never responds to my commands. It seems he has the instinctual hatred of Vandals too. Lately he seems to be getting more violent, even with Florence who he always loved. I fear that the last ounce of humanity he had is slipping away and we may loose him.”

Florence became visibly upset at what the Circus Master was saying, but once again Carlene could see no response from the boy.

“Well now that we’ve all gotten to know each other a little better I suggest we do something about these new breeds of Vampires stalking London.” Carlene said in an awkward, chipper tone.

“I quite agree” replied the Circus Master. “Its time to pull our resources together, for if we don’t these Vampires could end up destroying London itself.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomb of the Cybermen Review

Image result for tomb of the cybermen

Often regarded as the greatest Cyberman story. For many decades Tomb of the Cybermen earned a further notoriety for being a lost classic, until it was rediscovered in Hong Kong in the 1990s.

Tomb of the Cybermen was also the last Doctor Who story to be written by their creators Kit Pedler and Gerry Davies (though both would contribute scripts and story ideas on their own afterwards.)

Plot

On Skaro, the Doctor introduces Victoria to the TARDIS as she joins him and Jamie on their travels.

On Telos meanwhile a group of archaeologists are exploring the legendary lost city of the Cybermen. Whilst trying to break their way in, one of the team is electrocuted by a booby trapped door. 

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria soon arrive and the Doctor quickly disables the booby trapped door. 

The Doctor is interested not only in whether any Cybermen may have survived, but also what one member of the team, Klieg is up to. After encountering more booby traps the Doctor and the rest of the team are able to make their way to the lower levels of the city where they discover massive tombs containing hundreds of Cybermen. 

Klieg starts to revive them, and even kills a member of the team who attempts to stop him in the process. Klieg reveals that he, and another member of the expedition, Kaftan are part of a terrorist organisation known as the brotherhood of Logicians, who hope to use the Cybermen to conquer humanity. 

Once they are freed however the Cybermen quickly overpower Klieg and the others. The Cyber Controller reveals to the Doctor that after their planet was destroyed, and their attempts to destroy the earth via the Moonbase were foiled, the Cybermen fled to Telos and built a city here. 

The monsters were low on power however and froze themselves to reserve energy. They also set up a series of booby traps to defend themselves. The traps were also a series of intelligence tests however, with those who past them being preserved so that they could then be converted into Cybermen.

Fortunately the Doctor and the others are able to escape, except for Toberman, Klieg’s body guard who is partially converted and placed under their control.

The Doctor locks the Cybermen in their tombs, but the monsters soon send Cybermats to attack the Doctor and the archaeologists above. During the Cybermat attack Klieg and Kaftan are able to escape and find a spare weapon left over on one of the booby traps.

Klieg attempts to coerce the Cyber Controller into helping them, but the Controller is able to outwit him by taking control of the partially converted Toberman who overpowers Kleig and steals the weapon. The Controller kills Kaftan, but fortunately, on the Doctors urging. Toberman is able to break free from the Cybermen’s control and seemingly kills the Controller.

The Doctor then attempts to freeze the Cybermen in their tombs, but again he is stopped by Klieg. Klieg however is beaten to death by a Cybermen left to guard the tombs, who Toberman subsequently kills in a vicious confrontation. 

The Doctor then freezes the Cybermen declaring “last time they were frozen for 5 centuries. This time it must be forever!”

As they prepare to leave however the Cyber Controller attempts to attack the Doctor and his companions. The Doctor is able to destroy the Controller by using its own booby trapped doors against it, though sadly Toberman is also killed in the process. As the few surviving archaeologists prepare to leave, Jamie muses that they have seen the last of the Cybermen, but the Doctor states that he never likes to make predictions. 

Review

The Tomb of the Cybermen is definitely deserving of its reputation as one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time.

It works on almost every level, from a tight, action packed script, to memorable performances from the leads, to a claustrophobic and atmospheric direction, to some of the most spectacular sets ever devised for the series, such as the Cybermen’s tombs.

Tomb of the Cybermen in many respects marks arguably the shows first foray into gothic horror territory. Doctor Who I feel in many ways is as much a horror series as it is a sci fi programme.

Whilst it may have been conceived as sci fi, ultimately the show really took off and became a sensation for scaring people with the Daleks. In the 60s Doctor Who was seen as show children “hide behind the sofa.” when watching, rather than as a fun, jolly, little series for the whole family.

The same would be true throughout the rest of the classic era’s run. People expected to be scared when watching Doctor Who. It was a series that through the originals history pushed the boundaries in terms of violent and frightening content, from Yetis in the underground, to Auton policemen, to Chase grinding up UNIT soldiers into mush, to Colin giving two mercenaries an acid bath, to Light casually dismembering a maid.

Tomb of the Cybermen therefore in my opinion is Doctor Who at its very best, as it sees the show merge both the horror and sci fi genres together superbly.

In many respects Tomb of the Cybermen plays out like an old Mummy movie. We have the arrogant archaeologists who stumble into an ancient tomb and awaken an evil, long thought to be dead, we have one of the team become possessed, another who stupidly thinks he can use the monster for his own profit etc.

The Cybermen themselves are almost like Zombies the way they hardly say anything, turn other people into members of their own kind, and seemingly rise from the dead!

The horror is also a lot more visceral in this story too, such as in the memorable scene where Toberman literally rips a Cyberman’s guts out (which is one of the most effective special effects shots in all of 60s Who.) The way the Cybermen shoot people is also somewhat more explicit than in other stories. Whenever the Cybermen or the Daleks or the Ice Warriors zap people, the room normally just lights up, or the picture goes wonky, before the victim falls over. Here however we see their bodies actually catch fire and the victims writhe in agony for a few moments first.

In spite of the horror elements however, the story still works as a sci fi adventure too, as it merely brings the classic horror tropes into a sci fi environment.

In this respect I think Tomb serves as something of a precursor to the Hinchcliff era which would similarly bring classic horror tropes into sci fi environments such as Pyramids of Mars (which was a similar, haunted house/classic Mummy movie from a sci fi perspective, with robots and aliens instead of supernatural creatures.)

The Cybermen are at their absolute best here. Tomb seems to combine what worked from their previous two adventures together. Just as in The Moonbase the Cybermen are towering mountains of steel that you can’t possibly hope to stand against. One of my favourite moments is when Jamie tries to escape up a small corridor only to be cornered by one of the monsters. Its a wonderfully tight claustrophobic moment that really uses the monsters to their strengths.

Much like The Moonbase the Cybermen are also given a more manipulative, sneaky edge too.

I loved watching Klieg and Kaftan’s interactions with the Cyber Controller. Its obvious from the start that they are out of their depth against the Cyber Controller, who gets the better of them every step of the way. I also thought it was a nice touch that when the Cyber Controller betrays her, Kaftan, a member of the brotherhood of logicians has an emotional outburst that ultimately costs her her life.

At the same time Tomb of the Cybermen much like The Tenth Planet also plays up the body horror aspects of the Cybermen to a terrific effect. Though the Cybermen have the more mechanical design from The Moonbase, the story tends to blur the line between man and machine more. We see Toberman, half way to being a Cyberman, whilst similarly we also see a Cyberman actually bleed when it dies, which leaves the viewer to wonder how much of the people they once were is left in there.

The Cyber conversion is also more effective in this adventure too as here there is no reset button, unlike in many revival era stories such as Doomsday, or Death in Heaven. Once Toberman is only partially converted, he constantly struggles to fight it, and in the end is forced to kill himself before he is completely taken over by the monsters. Its not like Danny Pink who is able to just stop being a Cyberman because he wants too.

The Cyber Controller also makes an effective single adversary for the Doctor and his companions to play off of, and thankfully unlike later Cyber leaders he isn’t given too much of a personality.

The three leading cast members are also arguably at their strongest in this adventure too. Frazer Hines gets plenty of dashing heroic moments such as when he blasts several Cybermen, but he’s also able to work in a lot humour, such as when he accidentally holds Jamies hands, or his pitiful attempts to restrain the Cyber Controller with a rope!

Deborah Watling makes a strong debut as the new companion too. Though she was introduced in the previous story, here we get to see her in more proactive roles such as when she shoots the Cyber mat, and we also get to explore her relationship with the Doctor, and budding romance with Jamie a lot more too.

The scene where the Doctor comforts Victoria over the loss of her parents is one of the most moving and poignant moments in the entire history of the series.

This sequence sums up why I loved the character of the Doctor from the original series so much as a child. He was unlike a lot of other heroes, like Buffy, Spider-Man etc, in that he was someone who had already lived a full life when we first meet him.

The Hartnell Doctor has already been married, had children, grand children, and has clearly lost his family, (apart from Susan) before the events of the series. He has already lived through the worst loss a person can go through, and seen all of life’s ups and downs.

The Doctor therefore was more of a grandfather figure that children loved because they felt safe with. In spite of how reckless he could be, you got the impression that he was a safe pair of hands who could help you through any of life’s problems because he had already lived through them.

I think this scene also sums up why the Doctor does what he does too. He just enjoys it. He’s not on a mission to rid the universe of evil, nor is he a tortured, angst ridden character who just wants a normal life. He is a scientist who wants to discover the wonders of the universe, and feels lucky to have the life he does.

Patrick Troughton probably gives his best performance in this story. Everything that made his Doctor so wonderful is on display here. He is a sweet, caring father figure to Victoria, a master manipulator in his dealings with Klieg, somewhat more vulnerable and scared against the Cybermen, yet utterly ruthless in dispatching them at the end.

Troughton much like Hines is also able to inject a lot of great moments of humour into the story such as in his interactions with Jamie, or his marvellous trolling of Klieg. “Now I know you’re made I was just making sure” might be my favourite Troughton scene!

Of course whilst Tomb of the Cybermen is a classic, its not a completely perfect story. The main villains of the story, Klieg and Kaftan are somewhat laughably incompetent. They both attempted to awaken the Cybermen with no weapons or method of forcing them to do their bidding?

Still George Pastel who plays Klieg is able to overcome these shortcomings in Klieg’s “logic” by giving a wonderfully charismatic and over the top, performance.

Another draw back to the story is the Cybernauts. Making their first appearance in this sadventure, the Cybernauts are a good idea, but the props are let down by the ridiculous googly eyes they are given. The creatures end up looking more cute than terrifying, (and the little squeaky sounds they make don’t help either.) They’d be much more effective in Revenge of the Cybermen when they aren’t given a proper face.

Still despite these shortcomings, Tomb of the Cybermen is definitely deserving of its status as a classic story and is probably the best Cyberman story, as well as one of the finest examples of 60s Who.

Notes and Trivia

  • Much like the previous two stories, Tomb of the Cybermen was inspired closely by Dan Dare. The Cyber Controller was based on the Mekon, the leader of a similar race of cold, logical antagonists for the main hero. Originally the Cyber Controller was to have been a small creature who flew around, just like the Mekon. Ultimately the budget didn’t allow this however, though the Controllers, dome shaped head was still taken from the Mekon. Davies and Pedler hoped that the Cyber Controller would become the Doctors archenemy, like the Mekon was for Dan Dare. Sadly however the character only appeared in one more story, twenty years later. The Daleks however would later gain their own Mekon figure in the form of Davros in 1975.
  • The Cyber Controller and the Doctor mention the destruction of Mondas from the Tenth Planet, and the botched invasion of the Moonbase from their previous appearance. The Controller states that after the foiled invasion of the Moonbase, the monsters retreated to Telos and built a city there. The Cyber Controller also recognises the Doctor from both encounters and blames him for their predicament. The next Cyber story The Wheel in Space features the monsters from a much earlier point in time, though after the destruction of Mondas. The Invasion features a group of Cyber colonists from Planet 14. Attack of the Cybermen would later resolve these discrepancies, by showing the various Cyber groups who intially split up after Mondas’ destruction uniting on Telos to create a new Cyber race.
  • Matt Smith named this as his favourite story. After winning the role of the Doctor, he went back and watched the original series to get a feel for the character. Apparently he based his performance largely on Troughton’s Doctor, and even borrowed the bowtie from Troughton as part of his costume.
  • Sydney Newman, the co-creator of Doctor Who named this adventure as one of his favourites.
  • The iconic sequence of the Cybermen bursting out of their tombs would be replicated in later adventures such as Earthshock, Attack of the Cybermen, and Dark Water.
  • Gerry Davies and Kit Pedler’s last writing collaboration for Doctor Who. The two would however later go onto create another iconic British science fiction series, Doomwatch together.
  • The start of this adventure takes place on Skaro, the setting of the previous serial, The Evil of the Daleks.
  • Along with The Five Doctors to Attack of the Cybermen, this marked the only time that the Cyber costumes were the same as those from the previous story in the original series.

Professor Fang: The Living Spaceship: The Stolen Dead

 

 

Kirsteen Williamson was a remarkable woman in more ways than one.

Most people know of her rags to riches life story. Of how a troubled young girl from an impoverished background in Lutton became one of the most acclaimed rock singer/songwriters of her generation. (Find me a female or a British singer of the past 30 years who hasn’t been inspired by her in some way?)

Sadly we also all know how Kirsteen like so many other great talents before her succumbed to drugs, alcohol and depression and eventually vanished mysteriously into the night of the 30th of November in the year 1989. There was even a widespread conspiracy theory that she had been abducted by aliens!

Ironically however very few people know of Kirsteen’s greatest accomplishments, her journey’s through time and space, her battles with the undead and her encounter with the creator of all things.

This is the true story of Kirsteen Williamson, and of the incredible man who made all of this possible for her. Professor Fang!

Its hard to imagine a time when Kirsteen wasn’t so utterly beloved. You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who has a bad word to say about her nowadays either professionally or personally. Her albums are still best sellers, and according to all who ever worked with her, she was the loveliest woman. There have been countless books, documentaries and even a really crappy film made about her life.

“A Star Vanishes Into The Night”, which was released in 1997 was a truly terrible movie. It was the usual sensationalised bullshit that films about the lives of dead celebrities almost always are, but ironically the thing that it was most widely ridiculed for, the ending where Kirsteen is abducted by aliens is actually closer to the truth than people know.

In 1989 Kirsteen was at the very bottom of her fame and personal life. Her last album had been released in 1984 and it hadn’t exactly been her greatest work. Even today, whilst not as badly thought of as it was at the time, its still looked on as being a somewhat unspectacular end to a once glittering career.

Furthermore Kirsteen had become a laughing stock around the world. Her personal problems had gotten so out of control, that they had completely eclipsed all of her musical accomplishments.

Kirsteen at her core was a deeply lonely person whose friends and family had all either passed on or abandoned her.

Kirsteen’s mother had died when she was just 3 years old and so she was raised by her father and older brother. She grew up as a bit of a Tomboy and was very popular at her school with the boys as a result. In her teen years she often hung around with a rough crowd, got into trouble regularly, and was eventually expelled at the age of 17 for smoking dope.

Music had been the young Kirsteen’s salvation. She had always had an interest in it, but it was only after being kicked out of school with virtually no qualifications that she turned to music as a way of earning her keep. There was no way her father was going to just let her laze around.

Kirsteen would play around clubs and pubs for years until she scored her first big break at the age of just 24 in 1970, after she was spotted by a record manager during one of her performances.

She’d go on to dominate the charts for the next 10 or so years, becoming a sensation to rival the Beatles themselves.

Sadly however it was in 1979 that her life spiralled out of control. Kirsteen had not touched drugs or booze since she was a teenage girl. Her father had convinced her not to after she was booted from school, but sadly when Kirsteen’s father and brother were both killed in a car accident, she fell back into both habits quite fast.

Her marriage ended due to her drug use. Her husband Paul did love her at one point, but he simply couldn’t cope with her problems and constant attention she brought to their door. He was also a somewhat weak, selfish man overall.

Paul started to cheat on Kirsteen behind her back for years until she found out which just further pushed her down a bad road.  She made a complete fool of herself in several interviews and soon became better known for her antics. She became an international punchline.

She also lost most of her fortune due to being betrayed by her agent who took advantage of the poor women during her lowest eb.

By 1989, Kirsteen was living in alone in a small, run down house in the middle of London.

All of her friends had long since abandoned her too. They had started out sympathetic to her drug use and depression but as time went on, the more she didn’t really do anything to help herself, the more they left. One by one.

She did eventually get clean in 1987. She hoped that she could perhaps rebuild her life and career, but sadly neither the public or her former friends were interested in her anymore. Many of her so called friends had never really cared for Kirsteen anyway. Much like her worthless husband they were only there for her when she was a global sensation.

Kirsteen didn’t think her life could get any worse. She’d spend hours everyday thinking about the people she’d lost or who had walked out on her and sometimes she’d be tempted to drink as a result. Still she always held back, as she was determined that she was going to prove the people who abandoned her wrong.

Kirsteen would finally be given a chance for a fresh start, under the most unusual circumstances, when on the 30th of November her neighbourhood was visited by a craft from another world.

The ship was massive and triangular shaped. It covered almost all of the houses in the neighbourhood. It arrived at 3 O’Clock in the morning when everyone was asleep. Still the buzzing noise the craft made woke up one Kirsteen’s neighbours Dave. Dave at the time was dismissed as a crackpot of course, but he would insist for the rest of his life that Kirsteen had been abducted by aliens.

Kirsteen herself was sound asleep when the ship hovered above her neighbourhood and teleported her on board, after which it vanished back into the black sky in an instant, and left this world.

Kirsteen awoke several hours later in a large, cold, dark room. Her first thoughts were “oh no have I been drinking again?” She thought she must have given in to temptation last night and made a fool of herself to the point where she had been lifted. “Not again” she thought. So much for proving she had left this behind her.

However as Kirsteen looked around she noticed that this was not like any prison or police station she had ever been in before (and she’d been in quite a few.)

It was so dark she could hardly see anything, but at the very end of the room Kristeen was able to make out what looked like a door that had been left open. She didn’t want to leave as she was in enough trouble, she thought for whatever she must have done when she was drunk last night. Still as time went on she felt she couldn’t wait here any longer. Not knowing what she did last night was absolute hell. She went up to the door and shouted out for a policeman. There was no answer. She shouted again, but this time she heard a screaming sound.

She was scared. Had the criminals overrun the station perhaps? Why else would the door be left open. “I can’t just wait here until some crazy decides to pick me off.” She thought to herself, and so she slowly and quietly crept out of the room, scared at what she would find on the other side.

She saw a long, still very dark corridor, with metallic, purple walls.

There was also a foul stench in the corridor too. It smelled like rotting meat and was quite overwhelming. At the other end of the corridor, Kirsteen could saw what looked like a shambling, shaggy figure come staggering from around the corner.

It was moaning and screaming. He must be on drugs” Kirsteen thought to herself as she slowly backed away.

Just then however the figure spotted Kirsteen and like a bolt of lightening it sped towards her.

As the figure drew closer Kirsteen could see that its face was horribly disfigured. Its flesh, which was bright green was rotting and hanging from its face in certain parts. The expression on its face was also a combination of anger and agony.

Kirsteen ran as fast as she could from the monster down the other end of the corridor, but it caught up to her in no time and threw her violently to the ground.

As Kirsteen struggled to get back up, she could hear the monster speaking. Its voice was deep and booming and surprisingly clear.

“I will tear your body into thousands of pieces. I will crush your bones into nothing but powder and I will do it to spare you. Spare you from ending up like me!”

Kirsteen could see just ahead of her, a door that led into what looked like a small, cramped bedroom. It didn’t look like the most secure shelter, but it was better than nothing. If she tried to run back where she came corridor, the monster would surely catch her and the other end of the corridor looked neverending..

Kirsteen jumped up and ran as fast as she could to the room. The creature followed her however, and before Kirsteen could shut the door, the monster managed to ram its full body against it.

Kirsteen struggled to try and push the beast back, but its strength was far too great. Eventually it pushed Kirsteen back and she landed on the floor beside the bed in the centre of the room.

Kirsteen however didn’t give up. She scrambled to her feet, and fetched for anything she could use in the room as a weapon.

As she looked around however, she saw much to her horror the corpse of a young woman lying on the bed.

The woman had stabbed a knife into her chest, and there was blood dripping from her mouth. She looked as though she had died very recently.

“Foolish girl. She thought she’d escape that way. She will now join us. I’ll make you sure you don’t”. The figure said to Kirsteen.

Kirsteen reached for a vase that was on a small cupboard behind her. She threw it at the creature but it did little to deter him.

Desperate, Kirsteen reached for the knife that was embedded in the woman’s chest, and started slashing at the monster that was now grabbing her in its rotting stinking hands.

Kirsteen slashed and stabbed at the monsters eyes, its throat, and its hands . The monsters strength was unlike anything she had ever felt before, and she could feel her arm that it was clutching slowly starting to break! Still she fought and hacked and hacked at the monsters, hand that was grabbing her until she cut it off.

Though the creature was strong, its flesh was still rotting and somehow putrid and weak. Kirsteen stabbed the monster in the heart and managed to push it out of the door, which she then shut. (Though she had to give up the knife in the process.)

Though the monster was stronger than her, it was reeling in pain from the loss of its hand.

The monster started slamming at the door with its single hand and Kirsteen knew that it would get through eventually.

She searched around for another way out. She could see what looked like a ventalation system at the other end of the room. As she went towards it however, the corpse on the bed suddenly rose up.

Kirsteen screamed and ran back to the other end of the room, but there was nowhere to run.

The Zombie, Monster, or whatever it was that she had pushed out into the hall had already smashed the door down with its single remaining hand.

Trapped between two undead ravenous creatures, Kirsteen quickly pulled the knife out of the male Zombies chest and ran towards the ventalation system. The female Zombie tried to grab her, but Kirsteen hacked at its hand to such an extent that she managed to cut it off too.

Kirsteen jumped on the bed and then from there into the ventalation system. Again the female Zombie however managed to grab on Kirsteen’s foot. She couldn’t reach down with her knife however and so instead she struggled, eventually being able to pull her foot out of her shoe.

Kirsteen managed to crawl through the vents, not even knowing where she was going. The two Zombies meanwhile had crawled up after her but she had a good head start on them. Unfortunately however at the other end of vent, another Zombie soon crawled out of the darkness in front of her.

The way ahead was so dark that Kirsteen didn’t see at first. She hadn’t made that much noise crawling in the vents, but the monster could sense her very soul.

She couldn’t go back, so Kirsteen instead started to hit the grate in front of her with her knife to try and break it.

She could see in the dark corridor below more creatures shuffling around aimlessly. There were at least 7 of them. There’s no way she could fight the monsters off, so she would just have to try and outrun them.

She kept hacking and stabbing at the grate but sadly she wasn’t fast enough and the two monsters from either side grabbed her from either arm and started pulling.

Kirsteen felt like her arms were being pulled out of their sockets as she struggled against the inhuman strength of the Zombies. Just when all seemed lost for Kirsteen, the grate opened. The two Zombies stopped and stared down at the figure that had pulled the grate out with its bare hands.

It was a frail looking Chinese old man. He had long, flowing white hair, a thick white mustache, and was dressed entirely in black. He wore a long, flowing black cape and carried what looked like a stick made entirely of gold, that was glowing.

He reached in for Kirsteen who was too weak to fight back and pulled her onto the ground. The two Zombies quickly followed, but with two smacks of his stick to their throats he sent the undead brutes crashing to the ground.

The old man grabbed Kirsteen by the arm and hoisted her up. “Come there’s too many of them we need to get somewhere safe.”

His voice was strong, and commanding, yet Kirsteen for some reason felt safe with him. Using his stick he batted the other Zombies away with his gold stick. He and Kirsteen made their way down the corridor ahead, but when they turned a corner they came across 8 more Zombies.

“Where the hell did they come from.” The old man said angrily. He searched around for anywhere to escape to. “Cover your eyes” he said to Kirsteen as he held his cane up. A bright flash appeared at the top of the cane which send the Zombies scattering. The old man then grabbed Kirsteen and ran through the Zombies as they were dazed, batting more of them away with his cane. At the other end of the corridor were two doors, but as the old man made his way to open them, suddenly a rotting, clawed hand came smashing through one of the two doors.

The hand ripped the door off its hinges, whilst the other door was soon struck so hard it from the other side that it went flying through the air, with the old man and Kirsteen managing to dodge it just in time.

A figure then emerged from the dark corridor. It stood roughly 8 feet tall. Kirsteen couldn’t quite make it out at first, but when it stepped into the light she could see one half of its face was completely burned off. The other side of his face was covered  in deep scars, whilst his clothes were ragged, and his body was covered in horrific wounds. The monster let out a roar and the old man instantly ran back the way through the Zombies, pulling Kirsteen with him.

The Zombies however had recovered and grabbed hold of both of them. All seemed lost as Kirsteen and the old man were trapped between several horrific, ravenous monsters.

 

 

Doctor Who: The New Universe: Part 1

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“Come in, come in” Resla shouted frantically through her communicator to no response. Her team had been searching this godforsaken place for close to two days now and had found nothing but a string of corpses, not just of the scientists they had come here to rescue, but of various different kinds of strange creatures. These beasts were unlike any known life forms in this part of the galaxy. Their bodies were also in contrast to the scientists were preserved. The scientists bodies had been torn apart and mutilated.

Still the team had found no answers so far, despite covering the entire facility. They had split up into three groups with Resla’s exploring the lowest levels of the facility. The only area they hadn’t explored was a room at the very bottom of the facility, sealed by two 20 foot tall steel doors.

According to the notes from the scientists who had worked here, even many of them had no idea what was in the room. Resla’s team had been unable to find a way in. There was no code for them to hack, their guns, even on full setting didn’t even make a mark on the doors. Resla’s team had spent roughly 8 hours trying to find a way through the door that seemingly contained the ultimate secret of Paskelia 5, (which had practically built up this entire galaxy from scratch.)

Now however their attention had been diverted to their team mates. Reksian, who was part of the group that had decided to search the upper area had sent out a distress warning to the entire team. He was only able to mumble out a few incoherent words however before the line cut off again.

Another voice soon came through Resla’s communicator. It was a woman’s this time named Sele. “Please help us” the tinny voice screeched through a crackling line.

“It, it, it came crashing through a wall. Its gigantic. We managed to seal ourselves in here, but its outside, please, we’re on the 2nd floor. Help us!”

Just then a crashing noise came through the communicator followed by blood curdling screams and the sound of gnashing, and stomping.”

The rest of the team quickly hurried to the second floor except for Resla. Almost as soon as the message had finished the doors to the abandoned area had begun to open. The others didn’t care anymore, but Resla was so transfixed on the light shining from the room that she had to see what was in there. The others didn’t have time to convince her and so they quickly headed to the upper levels, whilst Resla made her way into the room. Resla had always been the inquisitive type. She had only joined the security team because she felt it would be the easiest way to see the wider universe.

It was extremely foolish of Resla to even think about venturing in there alone, but she couldn’t help herself. When she entered the room, Resla saw that it was completely empty except for a large, floating, glowing ball in the centre. It must be some kind of energy source she thought. As Resla looked more closely at the sphere however she could see that it was more than that. Suddenly what appeared to be a figure emerged from the ball. It looked completely different to the corpses of the aliens in the upper levels. It’s body was bipedal and completely dark, whilst its skin looked both slimy and rock hard. Its body was covered in jagged spikes at various parts, whilst its arms, of which there were four, were long, and thin. The four fingers on each of the four hands ended in massive sickle like claws . Its mouth was massive and filled with gigantic razor sharp yellow teeth, many of which were broken or looked worn down. It had three beady little green eyes, each of which had 4 red, strip like pupils. There were no other facial features on its flat oval shaped face. The top of the head meanwhile was covered in a tuft of grey, dirty, thinning hair, which ran down the back of its head, entire body and back legs.

The monster cornered Resla who held her gun up to it in defence. It just stared back at her however. “I must be just as strange looking to it” she thought. “I hope he’s as scared of me as I am of him.”

The monster garbled something at her in a strange language, but she couldn’t make it out. As she backed away ever so slowly, the creature suddenly lunged at Resla, claws outstretched, hissing and snarling. It moved so fast, Resla couldn’t make a shot in time. The alien batted the gun out of her hand and quick as a flash, it slashed her across the stomach. The wounds weren’t deep but they stung so severely that Resla was brought to her knees.

The monster then wrapped its hands around Resla’s entire head and began to squeeze hard. Resla had never felt a force like it, but she fought through the pain and managed to grab the knife from her leg holster and stabbed into the monsters arm.

The creature doubled back in pain and yanked the knife out of its arm. Its blood splashed to the floor. The blood was thick, yellow and instantly dried rock hard when it hit the floor. It also stank so badly Resla nearly choked. Whilst the monster was groaning in pain, Resla quickly grabbed her weapon and emptied several rounds straight into the beasts chest. A normal shot would have been powerful enough to tear a whole in a human’s chest. With the monster however several shots only created flesh wounds, but Resla kept on firing and eventually the beast crashed to the floor, completely lifeless.

Resla staggered to the door. She was still in absolute agony from her wounds. The flesh began to sizzle and boil and her legs gave way before she reached the door. As she tried to hoist herself up a second time however, the sphere started to act up again.

It began to ripple, and expand. Bolts began to fire from it, strong enough to scorch the metal floor. Resla was worried the sphere would explode but instead another creature identical to the first come through. Just like the first it instantly went for Resla but she brought it down with several more shots .

Using the last of her strength, Resla got to her feet and stumbled out the two door, but once she had made it out, the sphere became more erratic and this time dozens of similar monsters came out of the sphere and descended on Resla who fired on the beasts. She managed to bring down a further 3 of the abominations, but it was hopeless as more and more came pouring out and cornered her against a wall.

Dana was jolted from her peaceful slumber by the droning sound of the cloister bell. The journey’s from planet to planet, or time to time in the TARDIS were completely unpredictable. Sometimes they could take hours, sometimes they could take weeks.

Dana didn’t mind though. The TARDIS itself was like the best 5 star hotel she had ever stayed in. You could spend your life in there and never get bored. There was a massive library filled with books from all over the universe (though the Doctor seemed to have a particular fondness for earth literature. All his favourite things seemed to come from that planet.) There was also a massive swimming pool, tennis court, cinema, and most surprisingly of all, a giant garden. The garden contained the most beautiful flowers and plants gathered from all over the universe (and indeed many other universes.) The view above the garden meanwhile was a simulation of the Hiestra galaxy which the Doctor considered to be the most beautiful sight he had ever seen (or rather he did in his 9th life. He often changed the view every regeneration.)

Dana loved going to the garden with a good book, and a good bottle of wine, both from the Doctors collection (his taste was impeccable Dana thought to herself) and having a nice quiet evening looking up at the stars. The Doctor in contrast however was never good at amusing himself over the course of the long journeys. Sometimes he would paint in the garden with Dana, and he enjoyed spending long hours talking with her over his collection. Still if the journey was any longer than a couple of days, the Doctor would get very impatient. He was never mean but he could very short and grumpy.

How ironic that he’d spent all of this time gathering all of these wonderful pieces of art and literature yet he hardly ever looked at any of them. He probably had over the centuries mind you, Dana thought to herself. Dana kept forgetting that the Doctor was over 1000 years old.

Dana enjoyed the adventure and discovery of her life with the Doctor too, but at times his enthusiasm could rattle her. Whenever they arrived somewhere new and she wasn’t in the control room, he would rattle the cloister bell constantly until Dana arrived, and this time was no different.

“Honestly” he grumbled under his breath. “What takes her so long, we’ve been travelling for ages.” (In reality it was only two days)

Dana came bursting into the console room more than a little angry. “You don’t have to keep ringing that blasted bell. ”

“Well you do seem so absorbed in that damn book of yours you know. I didn’t think anything could pull you from it!” The Doctor snapped back.

He realised that he had gone too far. In her own way Dana was just as anxious to see where they had landed as much as he was. Even though it had been 3 years Dana still held out hope of finding her sister. Sadly 3 years on and they were no closer in anyway to finding her.. The Doctor had tried his best, but there was nothing he could do. As he told Dana when she first joined him, the odds were billions to one that they’d find the aliens that took her that fateful night.

Dana didn’t mention it much anymore as it was too painful. Still the Doctor understood that deep down Dana could never let her sister go and that the long journey’s were actually harder for her. The garden, and the books were just her way of escaping.

“I’m sorry Dana that remark was thoughtless of me.” the Doctor said softly. Dana didn’t feel upset. She knew his bark was worse than his bite.

“That’s okay Doctor, just please only use that bell in emergencies like its supposed to.”

“Well we’re here now. Though where here is I don’t know, but that’s part of the fun.” He said as he opened the doors and ran out, barely able to contain his excitement. Dana quickly followed. She didn’t know whether to admire his boldness or get frustrated at his recklessness.

Outside the TARDIS was nothing but a forest. The woods didn’t look that much different to those on earth and the sky was pitch black. The Doctor searched his endless pockets for a watch. He pulled out various items from a packet of jelly babies, to a harmonica to what looked like a metal donut (which was actually a delicacy on the planet Mesjara) before finally finding a torch.

“I do hope there’s intelligent life here. There’s so little of it in the universe” the Doctor said as he pointed his torch through the dark cobweb like woods for any signs of life.

The Doctor marched on ahead, not even telling Dana to come with him as he trampled over the thick undergrowth. Dana would talk with the Doctor about her latest book. Described as the great romance novel of the 57th century. Dana had started reading it not so much because she enjoyed the story, but just because she was fascinated in looking at what passed for entertainment thousands of years in the future, and how much society had changed too.

The Doctor was only to happy to discuss the arts with Dana. Whilst exploration would always be his first love, he did have a huge appreciation for the arts too.

“I always keep meaning to take you to your planets future Dana. A lot of people, don’t want to know their own worlds future, but you seem quite keen.”

“I’ve always thought the most interesting periods to read about are the last ones I’d actually want to visit” Dana said as she struggled through the dark and tangled woods.

“True” the Doctor replied as he shined the torch ahead, desperate to see any signs of life. “There are a lot of historical figures from your past and future I admired greatly when I first read their work, and then I met them. A word to the wise don’t ever have dinner with Plato. He eats like a pig.”

“Well I suppose they weren’t renowned for having great manners back then”

“That’s still no excuse. I’ve had meals with Uxeres, who have six mouths and eat their mothers that were more pleasant and polite. At least they knew how to use a napkin.”

The Doctor was always obsessed with good form, which was rather ironic considering not only did his social skills leave a lot to be desired, but the Doctor himself also looked very shambolic too.

He dressed in very fancy clothes. He wore an old pitch black frock coat from what looked like the late 19th century, a frilly shirt and some checked trousers.

However his coat was extremely battered and almost dirty looking, whist the shirt was messy and unkempt.

His thick dark hair was also extremely messy and all over the place. Dana even referred to him as a scruffy dandy when they first met. Dana herself meanwhile had a much more toned down and contemporary look. Her hair was jet black, massive and curly, whilst she always tended to wear the same battered leather coat.

The two tended to stand out in most times and places they visited, but neither particularly cared, regardless of how much trouble it might get them into.

The two time travellers continued to explore these strange alien woods hours through the woods not seeing any signs of life. The Doctor would search under every rock on the planet if he thought he could find a new insect no one had ever found before.

Dana had to stop for a minute she was so tired. The Doctor didn’t even notice she had stopped until he was about ten feet away.

“Oh Dana you should just tell me if you wanted to rest you know, you don’t want to get lost in these woods.”

“Sorry Doctor, I just couldn’t go on any longer. This planet doesn’t look like its up to much to me. Then again I’d probably say the same about earth if we landed in the middle of a desert. We should probably head back to the TARDIS Doctor, just to get a good bearing on where exactly we are. I mean we could be 1000 miles from any kind of civilisation. If there even is one. Doctor?”

Unfortunately the Time Lord wasn’t paying attention to his companion. He had noticed what looked like a shinning light in the distance. He started to climb a tree to get a better look at it. As far as the Doctor could see it looked lime some kind of vehicle, though quite unlike any he had ever seen before. Some of the trees below it however appeared to be shaking and one even fell over. The Doctor also spotted what looked like a large mountain on the far side of the forest too.

“What is it Doctor?” Dana said in frustration. “Are there signs of life.”

“I think so? It looks like a craft. Though whether its from here I don’t know. To think its occupants could be staring down at us thinking we live here.”

The Doctor jumped down from the tree. Dana could see he looked a little worried. “I think it might have been fleeing from something. I think we should tread carefully”

“Well that would be a first” Dana said jokingly. The two crept through the woods silently, trying to keep their heads down when suddenly they were both jolted by a loud screeching noise that came piercing through the black woods.

The two couldn’t see anything however in the pitch black, but the Doctor could also hear very faintly the sound of something big coming their way.

“Stay here” he told Dana firmly whilst he climbed up a nearby tree. Almost as soon as he reached the top however he instantly dropped back down again with a look of absolute horror on his face.

“We need to get out of here. Now.” The thumping sound suddenly became louder as did the screeching noise again. The Doctor and Dana ran through the woods in fear, but the stomping sound became louder and louder. As the Doctor looked back he could see what looked like an immense figure in the distance. The trees, the branches, and the darkness however made it difficult for him to get a good sight of what exactly was after them, and even the Doctors curiosity wouldn’t make him stick around.

The Doctor and Dana ran as fast as they could, but the noise became louder and louder until eventually Dana had to push the Doctor out of the way of a falling tree.

When the Doctor looked up he could see the figure much more clearly, towering above the two petrified Time Travellers.

It stood about 80 feet tall. Its skin was bright green and hairless, whilst its body was long and slender. Its arms which each ended in three clawed hands were muscular yet very thin. Clearly it was built for speed despite its massive size. It was bipedal, though its face was long, whilst its mouth was permanently locked into the shape of a permanent grin filled with 4 layers of teeth. The monster had three giant eyes at the very top of its long thin face, whilst a row of spikes ran down from the top of its head, right down its back.

The Monster lowered its body over the Doctor and Dana who huddled together in absolute terror. Just as all hope seemed lost the spaceship suddenly hovered above the monsters head. It fired repeatedly on the brute. The monster turned to face its new enemy and to the Doctors surprise it fired an electric beam from its hands. The beam narrowly missed the ship

The Doctor and Dana quickly ran in the opposite direction whilst the monster and the ship fought. The ship was able to dodge the monsters reach, but its fire was also not doing any damage to the brute either. One stray blast from the ship however caused part of the forest to catch fire which quickly spread.

The two time travellers were forced to run in another direction to escape the blaze, but they would quickly soon come upon a dead end. They had arrived at the mountain. It was so large and the sky was so dark that they couldn’t see what was at the top of it.

Still it looked like the only way ahead. Between the monster and the fire there was absolutely no way they could go back. “You ever rock climb as a little girl?” the Doctor asked Dana.

“Of course, but look at that size of that thing there’s no way we can.” Before Dana could even finish, the Doctor was already climbing. He stopped and looked down at her. “Well aren’t you coming?” Dana let out a frustrated groan before joining him.

The two didn’t look back, though they could hear the sounds of forest burning, the monster screaming and trees being knocked over. It was even harder to climb in the dark but they only had to climb a short distance before making it into a ledge which led into a cave. The Doctor was the first to make it to the ledge and as he went to help Dana up he saw the vehicle crashing to the forest floor on fire. The monster had obviously gotten in a lucky hit and now the crew had paid for it with their lives. The Doctor couldn’t bare to look at the mass of flames on the forest floor that had once been a beautiful craft. He had no idea who the crew of this mysterious vessel were and now he never would, but they had saved he and Dana’s lives.

He hurried Dana into the cave as the jungle lit up around the mountain. The Doctors torch allowed them to see where they were going in the cavernous, seemingly never ending tunnel ahead.

The monster meanwhile managed to make its way out of the flames and back into the deeper forest. It hadn’t forgotten the Doctor and Dana. It was a lot more intelligent than the Doctor had assumed. It searched through the jungle for signs of the two strange creatures it had encountered and eventually stumbled upon the TARDIS. Not sure what to make of this strange blue box, the monster struck it with all its might. To its surprise however, nothing happened!

How can that even be possible? Nothing could withstand the pressure of its blows. It let out a scream in frustration and struck the irritating blue box again, twice as hard. Still nothing. The monster continued to pound on the TARDIS only for nothing to happen. It picked it up and tried to squeeze the TARDIS in its hands only to tire itself out. It then threw the TARDIS on the floor and jumped up and down on it over and over again, only for the infuriating blue box to still be completely unscathed. Finally the monster just picked up the TARDIS and threw it over 100 feet across the forest. It was sure if there was anything hiding in it, then it couldn’t have survived that.

The two time travellers treaded very slowly and carefully through the tunnel to try and find a way out. They still tripped over various rocks however, as the Doctors torch didn’t do much to light up the way ahead.

When they were deep into the cave however Dana tripped over something large. “These damn rocks” she blurted out in anger and frustration. As the Doctor helped her up he shone his light on what it was she tripped on and could see it wasn’t a rock.

It was the remains of a person. He had been ripped in half. Only the upper body remained, whilst one arm looked as though it had been chewed off. The other arm was completely mangled meanwhile, whilst upper torso and face where covered in long, deep claw marks.

Dana wanted to be sick at the sight of the cadaver, whilst the Doctor stared at it intently.

“There are humanoid life forms on this planet, or there where. Interesting.”

Dana looked at him in frustration. “Is that all you can say. I can barely look at it.”

“I don’t enjoy looking at it either my dear,  but the discovery of possibly a new race, even posthumous is always of interest. There’s nothing we can do for this poor soul, but whatever did this could still be around. I suggest we move as quickly as possible.”

The Doctor and Dana moved very closely together, both constantly looking round in terror for a monster. The Doctor managed to spot the corpse of what looked like an absolutely hideous creature in the distance thanks to his torchlight. The monster from what the Doctor could see had a furry body and 4 arms. He shone the light closely on its face. It’s small pointed head appeared to have been smashed in with great force. He wanted to examine it further but Dana didn’t want to even look at it.

“Its dead Doctor. Why do you care.”

“Now who is the callous one. For all you know this creature could have been a civilised, intelligent life form that met an unfortunate end. Either way I want to find out.”

The Doctor headed towards the corpse, but as he went to examine it, its arm suddenly twitched. It was alive!

“Its okay, its okay” the Doctor said as he tried to make the creature comfortable in its last moments. The creature tried to lift one of its arms towards the Doctor and neither he nor Dana were sure at first if it was trying to attack the Time Lord or not. Instead however he it was simply reaching up for help and once she realised it wasn’t a threat Dana held its hand softly.

The monster choked and spluttered before finally breathing its last. Dana felt somewhat guilty at judging the creature, but the Doctor told her not to worry. “To be fair we still don’t know whether it would have been hostile or not if it was healthy” the Doctor said.

The Doctor shone his light deeper into the cavern and caught sight of a second creature deep in the distance. From what he could see this creature was a lot larger, though not as big as the one outside. It stood about 9 feet tall and appeared to have much thicker, grey hide. Its face was small and goblin like, with two horrible, beady little red, eyes shone through the darkness of the tunnel. The creature appeared to be holding a large club that was covered in a thick blue substance, undoubtedly the previous creatures blood. This new monstrosity had not noticed the Doctor and Dana as it was too busy licking its latest victims blood from its club. The Time Lord told Dana to slowly back away, as he searched the caverns nearby with his light to see if they were safe.

Unfortunately however Dana stepped backwards into a hole and fell about 15 feet below. As she fell her scream startled the monster, but the Doctor quickly followed her before it could get a sight of him in the darkness.

Both the Doctor and Dana fell into a small pit that was about 10 feet wide and at the left end was a relatively small hole, big enough for a person to fit through. The Doctor decided to investigate it, but not before making sure Dana was alright. He helped her to her feet.

“Sorry Doctor, I guess I should start to look where I’m going.”

“Well I can hardly throw stones in terms of stumbling into trouble. Besides its my fault. I was only shinning the light ahead. There’s no way we can climb up its too steep, but there’s a small hole I’m going to check. Please stay here.”

Dana interrupted.

“I’ll go with you Doctor, if you run into trouble you’ll need help as always.”

“Oh alright. But please keep an eye if that thing decides to follow us down the hole.” He said in a somewhat churlish tone.

The Doctor and Dana managed to squeeze through the hole, one after the other. The hole was about 6 foot high on the wall of another small room which was connected to three tunnels. The Doctor went ahead down the centre tunnel, shinning his light. They only got a few feet down it when suddenly a roaring sound came bellowing down the corridor. The Doctor and Dana slowly crept backwards the way they came careful not to make a noise, but the noise came again and the Doctor could see a figure emerging from within the dark. Both the Doctor and Dana ran the way they came, arriving back in the room.

Suddenly more roaring and screeching came from down the other two corridors as well. “We’re cornered. Like rats in a trap.” Dana said frantically.

The Doctor told Dana to get back into the cave they had fallen into. “Are you crazy? They’ll corner us.”

“There’s a chance they might not have seen us, we have to take it.”

The Doctor helped Dana get up through the hole and then she helped to pull the Doctor into it. They stared intently out of the hole until a figure emerged from the first of the three tunnels. To the time travellers surprise it looked like an ordinary man.

He was wearing some kind of strange uniform and seemed to be badly hurt. He stumbled to the ground, struggling to get his breath back. The Doctor tried to crawl through the hole again to help him, but before he could he saw 6 hideous creatures emerge from down the other two tunnels.

These creatures looked identical to the one on the surface that had been carrying the club only here they appeared even larger. The poor man was in such pain he didn’t even notice the brutes as they surrounded him. Before the Doctor could do anything to help him the monsters were on him.

The Doctor quickly crawled back in and stopped Dana from pointlessly jumping out.

“There’s nothing we can do Dana. He’s dead! If you go out there those things will kill both of us.”

Dana looked away as the monsters started to devour their victims mangled corpse. The Doctor meanwhile continued to observe. He found the sight repulsive, but was curious about their feeding habits. The monsters didn’t seem to be just simple beasts who were feeding to survive. They seemed to be performing some kind of ritual. They smeared the victims blood over their faces and started doing what looked like a strange dance over the corpse before tearing more bits and pieces of flesh off the corpse.

The Doctor and Dana were forced to remain in their cave for a couple of hours until the monsters had finished. Every second was torture. The Doctor and Dana weren’t sure if the monsters knew they were hiding in here or if one of the monsters from above would fall into their cave.

After a few hours when there was literally nothing left of the wounded man but a few blood stains the monsters walked back down the tunnel.

Still the Doctor and Dana waited for a short while before escaping through the hole. They went down the corridor the man had come down as the monsters had left up the other two.

The Doctor and Dana walked down the corridor for ages stumbling over more mangled corpses along the way, as well as the body of one of the grey creatures.

Finally they reached the end of the tunnel which led to a large room, where there was a gigantic, glowing, blue strip of what looked like pure energy, right down the middle. The Doctor threw a rock into the blue strip only for it to bounce off.

“There’s a force field around it” the Doctor said as he investigated the new, strange anomaly. He saw behind the strip was a massive control panel, and beside it was a grey door.

“I wonder who created this” The Doctor said as he stared at the shinning light intently.

“It can’t have been those savages. They were just animals.” Dana replied.

“No I wouldn’t have thought so, but appearances can be deceiving. Just because a race is highly advanced, doesn’t mean that it has to be peaceful sadly.” The Doctor said with regret.”

Just then the two heard more growling coming down from the other end of the tunnel.

“Damn” The Doctor shouted in frustration. “I was wanting to get a good look at that control panel.”

The Doctor and Dana rushed to the door that was electronically locked. The Doctor quickly whipped out his sonic screwdriver and started to fiddle with the lock, whilst Dana stared back intently at the tunnel. Dana could see the shadow of a figure begin to emerge on the other side. The monster had obviously been stalking them for quite a while, waiting until it could corner them. It was a lot smarter than she thought, and a lot more cruel.

Finally Dana heard a clicking noise and turned to see the door swing open.

“Ah there we are” the Doctor said proudly. “Did you ever doubt me?”

“Well”

“Just get inside!”

The Doctor shut the door behind him and used his sonic screwdriver to lock it again.On the other side of the door was a stair case which seemed to go on and on at both ends. The Doctor instinctively ran up the stairs. The Doctor had no idea if that way was safer but he wanted to get to the top of the mountain as he figured that would be his best chance of figuring out what was happening on this strange planet.

The monster started pounding on the door It didn’t take long to tear it down despite the fact that the door was solid steel (or a similar substance) and over 4 inches thick.

The Doctor and Dana had a good start on the monster however and were able to maintain it as they hurried frantically up the stairs. The two time travellers managed to reach the top where the Doctor again used his sonic screwdriver. Just as before however it took him a few seconds to try and break the lock. Dana began to panic as the monster started to gain on them.

“I’m trying Dana, I could do with less distractions, the Doctor said, visibly terrified as even he wasn’t sure he would make it this time.

Still the Doctor managed to overcome his fear and open the door just as the monster had reached them, but when he tried to shut the door behind him, the monster struck at it, sending the Doctor flying about 6 feet on the other side. On the other side of the door was a foggy cliff edge. In the hours the Doctor and Dana had spent in the cave, it had become daylight outside, but the fog was so thick, Dana couldn’t see much ahead of her.

Dana ran to help the Doctor, but the monster caught up with her and grabbed Dana from behind by her arms. She tried to struggle free but it was hopeless. Dana had never felt a force like it. The beast started to pull on Dana’s arms. As she screamed in agony she could hear the monster making a strange noise. It wasn’t like its earlier roar. It was almost as though as it was laughing at her pain!

The Doctor quickly got to his feet and grabbed the monster by one of its arms. He tried to pull on it, but it made no difference. The creatures strength was virtually limitless. The creature got irritated however and batted the Doctor away, sending him flying another 5 feet backwards, closer to the edge of the cliff.

The Doctor got up, still dazed from the hit but he couldn’t give in now. The Doctor was an excellent fighter. He was a master of so many different fields simply because he had the time. He had lived for 100s of years, and had a machine that could enable him to visit the greatest experts and masters of every subject and field. As a result the Doctor was a world class fighter, physicist, biologist, marksman, fencer, technician, cook, decorator, and painter though he had still never learned to play tennis properly. It was on his to do list.

The Doctor had taken on opponents much stronger and larger than he before, but this creature was several times stronger. He’d be lucky to hurt it!

Still the Doctor tried. The brute swung at him but the Doctor managed to dodge it and deliver a punch with all his might into the beasts chest. The creature didn’t even wince!

The Doctor had speed on his side and continued to dodge the monsters attacks whilst delivering more punches, as well as a few kicks. He even used Venusian Karate, but none of the Time Lords attacks did anything. Realizing he wasn’t getting anywhere the Doctor managed to run past the beast to try and help Dana up. Dana was still lying on the floor in absolute agony. Had the monster kept pulling for just a few moments more it would have ripped both her arms out of their sockets.

The Doctor tried to help her up, telling her to run. Even if he wasn’t going to make it out he was determined she was.

The monster however placed its arm around the Doctors neck from behind. Frantically, the Doctor repeatedly elbowed the beast in the stomach. Once again the Doctor didn’t hurt the beast, but the constant flurry of punches was enough to momentarily knock the beast off its balance a little, allowing the Doctor to push its arm away from his throat. The Doctor then rammed into the monster. Using his entire body weight, the Doctor managed to knock the beast a few feet backwards towards the cliff edge. Unfortunately the monster however managed to regain its footing and quickly overpowered the Doctor. It grabbed his arms and squeezed them so hard the Doctor was instantly brought to his knees. It then delivered a flurry of punches to the Doctors face and chest. Even the Doctor who had been in more than a few fights in his time had never been hit with such force.

The Doctor lay on the floor beaten, bloodied and too weak to even lift a finger. The monster picked him up, lifting him over its head whilst roaring in triumph. The Doctor with his last ounce of strength, kicked at the monsters head, but it did little more than annoy it. The beast managed to bite onto the Doctors foot and sunk its fangs into it. The Doctor screamed in agony, and tried to pull his foot free, but the more he pulled, the more his foot was pulled into its mouth.

Fortunately before the creature could tear off his foot, Dana, having regained her strength grabbed one of the largest rocks she could and thumped the monster in the stomach. It still didn’t hurt it that much, but it startled it enough to drop the Doctor on Dana. Dana gently pushed the Doctor off her and grabbed her rock. She hit the beast in the face before it could strike at her and the Doctor and continued to hit in the face with her rock over and over again. She was so overcome with rage she just couldn’t stop. She managed to draw some blood from the monsters face, with Dana at first being too fast for it, but eventually the monster was able to regain its composure and grabbed Dana’s arms. Just as it had done with the Doctor, it squeezed them, causing her to drop her weapon and fall to her knees. The monster then grabbed her by the throat and started to life her above the ground.

The Doctor however used this opportunity whilst it was distracted, to ram the monster with his entire body. Catching it off guard, the Doctor not only caused it to drop Dana, but also managed to send it tumbling a few feet backwards and off the edge of the cliff. The Doctor himself almost went with it, but he stopped himself at the edge of the cliff with his hands. He couldn’t see what lay at the bottom, or where the monster had fallen too as the fog concealed it, but they were up very high, possibly at the very top of the mountain.

The Doctor took a minute to get his breath back. He was so weak from the beating he felt like passing out. Dana helped the Time Lord to his feet.

“Why did you interrupt. I could have taken beaten him in a few minutes” the Doctor joked. “I’d have drowned him in my own blood.”

The Doctor coughed whilst Dana got a good look at his wounds.

“You need to rest Doctor. You’re in no fit state to go anywhere after that.”

“Nonsense Dana, I’ve been through worse in my time. I just need a minute or two to catch my breath. Besides on this planet it looks like you can’t afford to stay in one place too long.”

After a minute or too the Doctor was back on his feet, though he still needed some help from Dana to walk at first. The two time travellers walked through the foggy path ahead. They could barely see anything and frequently stumbled over rocks, or possibly something else. After a few minutes the Doctor and Dana came across what looked like two gigantic steel doors. The Doctor got out his sonic screwdriver, but as he got closer he could see that the door was already open. Its lock had been ripped clean open. The Doctor tried to pull the door open, but it was so thick he needed help.

Inside there was nothing a long corridor lined with corpses of scientists and strange alien creatures. Some were similar to the two monsters they had seen in the cave, but others were unlike anything even the Doctor had seen before.

“I’m going to rate this as one of my least favourite planets we’ve visited” Dana said as she shook her head.

“Yes I don’t think I’ll be visiting here as often as your world.”

They tip toed over the corpses and got further down the corridor. There were several doors on either side of the corridor but they all led to small rooms that were similarly littered with corpses. The scientists bodies were all mangled beyond recognition whilst the creatures bodies were preserved which intrigued the Doctor.

The Doctor recognised a symbol on the nearest wall. He had to rack through his memory for a bit, but then it hit him.

“Of course, we’re in the galactic research facility of Paskelia 5.” The Doctor exclaimed.

“Where?”

“Ah yes I should explain. I have been here before. It was a while ago though. Probably several of your lifetimes. This centre was the ultimate symbol of peace in the Marisha Galaxy, a galaxy trillions of light years from yours. The Marisha Galaxy was wracked by a galactic war, which destroyed billions of worlds. Eventually however at some point, the last few surviving species called a truce. They then built this facility here, where the greatest minds from all of the races would work together for the good of the galaxy.”

“You say you’ve been here before.”

“Yes I was for a brief time a member of the team during the early days when they were helping worlds ravaged by the war. I didn’t stay here long.”

“Why am I not surprised” Dana said with a smile.

“Yes well you know me. To be honest the facility didn’t even really need me. They made incredible breakthroughs. They built a war ravaged galaxy up to a great and unified power in less than a century.” The Doctor started to trail off. He couldn’t help but rattle through all of the great experiments he had been lucky enough to witness or be a part of.

“They made sure that no race in this part of the galaxy went hungry ever again through advancements in cloning. They were able to clone several hundred tons of meat from the single cell of an animal. It was genius. Enough meat for everyone, and no animals had to die in the process. They also found a way to strengthen the immune system of so many different species, you see”

“Eh thank you Doctor” Dana said before he could launch into a lecture that would have probably gone on for hours. “Whatever good these people were responsible for, clearly this place has sadly changed since you were last here.”

“You’re not saying you think they created these monsters? I’ve not been away that long that they would go from fixing the problems of the galaxy to creating those abominations.”

“Well do you think they were invaders then? Here to gain access to the secrets of this place?”

“Possibly, but even then it doesn’t seem likely. This place is guarded by the full force of this entire galaxy. No something else has happened here. I don’t know what but I’m going to find out.”

Just then Dana started to feel faint and nearly fell to the floor, but the Doctor was able to catch her in time.

“Dana what’s wrong?”

“I, I, I’m okay Doctor, I think I was just feeling a bit faint after everything that’s happened. Thank you.”

The Doctor gave her a concerned look, before Dana reassured him that she was fine again.

The Doctor and Dana searched through the corpse laden corridors, and explored each room they came across for another half hour or so finding nothing of interest. In each room were remains of experiments as well as the people who worked on them, both completely unrecognisable from what they once were.

Finally Dana stumbled upon what looked like a security room complete with monitors of the various floors. Most of the monitors were out however, but Dana could see on one of the screens, what looked like two people, a man and a woman, trapped in a small room. They were both wearing the same uniform as the unfortunate soul in the cave who had been torn apart by the grey creatures. The man was pointing a gun at the door, whilst the woman appeared to be frantically calling for help a communicator.

Dana called to the Doctor who was inspecting the corpse of a strange looking creature in the hall.

“Look those people are in danger. They’re on the second floor, we need to help them.”

The Doctor however simply stared at the monitor for a few seconds longer. ”

“Doctor! Come on we have to do something!”

“Oh I quite agree, its just that what can we do to help them? Whatever’s cornered them will probably tear us to pieces as soon as we get down there.”

“Well we can’t just leave them.”

“No, no you’re right, I’m just thinking about what will be waiting for us down there” he said in a concerned tone. The Doctor ran out into the corridor to a corpse wearing the same uniform as the people trapped on the second floor. Beside the corpse was a strange, rifle like weapon. The Doctor picked it up and checked to see if it was working.

“Ah good it still has power in it. Of course I’d rather not use this” he said with contempt,  “if given the choice, but if we have too, its best to prepared.”

And with that the two made their way to the nearest lift. Despite the desolate state of the place, there was still power in the lift.

When they reached the second floor they found it littered with corpses just like the first floor,

The Doctor and Dana headed down the long corridor, with no signs of any creature. There were a few doors on either side, and the Doctor and Dana briefly checked each room, but again they found nothing.

At the end of the corridor, they found two massive steel doors with deep scratch and bite marks all over them.

As the Doctor examined the doors he felt a drop of slime fall on his shoulder. Both he and Dana slowly looked up, only to see two hideous creatures clinging to the roof above them.

These monsters again looked different to any of the others the Doctor and Dana had encountered so far. They were white and covered in thick, black, hairy spots all over their bodies. They had 6 tiny bright red eyes all gathered into a little cluster on their foreheads, and a long green hair that stuck up on the top of their heads. They had three sets of teeth in each of their four mouths, one on the head another in the chest, and two on the palms of their hands which both reached out for the Doctor and Dana. The back feet were nothing but long black, and flexible spikes that dug into the ceiling.

The two monsters jumped at the Doctor and his companion, but the Time Lord managed to dodge his and push Dana out of the way.

The Doctor pointed his weapon at the two monsters and told them to back down.

“We won’t hurt you, if you don’t hurt us, we just want to know what happened here and try and help.” He said firmly.

The monsters appeared to laugh at the Doctors words before lunging at him and Dana.

With no choice the Doctor opened fire on the both of them, and even though it created a small wound on both beasts, it ultimately did nothing to hurt or slow either monster down.

The monster knocked the gun out of the Doctors hand and then placed its hands on both of his shoulders. It sunk the teeth on its hands through his clothes and flesh, bringing the Doctor to his knees in pain. The monster then attempted to thrust one of its hands into the Doctors throat, but overcoming the agony he was in, the Time Lord managed to grab the beasts hand using both of his. He barely held it in place, mere centimetres from his throat.

Dana ran for the gun, but the other monster grabbed Dana in a bear hug, and started to bite her back with the teeth in its chest.

She struggled and struggled but the monsters strength was too great. The Doctor meanwhile, barely able to hold back the beasts hand, as its other hand bit deeper and deeper into his shoulder, in sheer desperation the Doctor bit into its arm. The monster was caught completely off guard and the Doctor was able to pull his shoulder free and punched the monster in the face, knocking it back slightly.

The Doctor then went for the other monster. Grabbing it from behind, he pulled the monster off of Dana before it could do any serious damage, though the beast quickly overpowered the Doctor. Dana however again grabbed the gun and fired several rounds into both monsters whilst the Doctor slipped away from them. The Doctor quickly grabbed the gun from Dana and pushed her behind him, whilst he started fiddling with the weapon.

“What are you doing” she said in desperation.

Just then the two steel doors opened and the two survivors Dana had seen on the monitor emerged carrying similar weapons to the Doctor. They had been alerted by the sounds of the Doctor and Dana screaming in pain.

The monsters instantly turned their attention to the two newcomers, hissing and smiling with a sadistic, perverse delight.

The two survivors started shooting at the monsters, but their weapons didn’t hurt the beasts any more than the Doctors had. Before the creatures could attack the two survivors, the Doctor attacked one of the monsters from behind.

He placed his rifle around its neck and pulled it back, before throwing it several feet down the corridor. The other monster turned to fight the Doctor, but with a quick bit of Venusian Akido he managed to flip the monster over his shoulder and into the second monster, knocking it down.

The Doctor quickly hurried his companion and the two strangers into the room behind the two steel doors. He then threw his rifle into one of the monsters hands, confusing it for a few seconds, which was all he needed to use his sonic screwdriver to shut the two steel doors.

“Get back right” the Doctor exclaimed just before a massive explosion on the other side of the steel doors knocked him 5 feet backwards and completely unconscious.

Dana rushed to the Doctors aid, and managed to wake him in just a few seconds. When he awoke, the Doctor instantly jumped to his feet and admired his own handy work.

“Ah good it worked.”

“What did?” Dana replied, completely puzzled.

“Simple, the gun wasn’t enough to hurt those brutes on its own, so I tampered with its power source. I caused it to overload which created a mini explosion, though I had to be sure I could get us a safe distance of course. I hate no choice. They would have killed us. You understand.”

“Yes I do” Dana said in response.

Whilst the Doctor and Dana were distracted, the male survivor hit the Doctor on the back of the head with the butt of his gun, knocking the Time Lord to the floor.

The female survivor meanwhile searched outside. The doors had been affected by the blast so severely that all she had to do was tap them and they fell backwards. The charred remains of the monsters were scattered all down the hall.

“Odd way to say thank you”. Dana sniped at the survivor.

“I don’t know who the hell you both are. You’re not researchers. As far as I’m concerned so how did you get into this top secret facility that few people even know exists!”

“Ah well, I am actually a former researcher here” the Doctor said confidently as he jumped up. “Though granted then I looked a lot different. Completely different in fact. Actually I looked so different you wouldn’t recognise me at all but I.

“SHUT UP” the male survivor shouted furiously as the female returned. “The blast took care of those creatures, though it won’t be long before more of them come. We need to get off this planet right now.”

“How? We haven’t been able to contact the ship all night. I think they’ve left us.”

Thinking back to the ship he saw crash in the forest, the Doctor interrupted.

“You’re doing your ship mates a disservice. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but.”

“What are you saying?” the male survivor growled as he shoved his gun into the Doctors chest.

“The ship was destroyed. One of the creatures in the forest tore it apart.” The female survivor became visibly upset. Tears began to appear in her eyes, though she tried to cover it up. The male survivor turned to her for a second to see if she was okay, but a second was all the Doctor needed.

With lightening speed he kicked the gun out of the male survivors hands, whilst Dana  started wrestling with the female survivor.

The male survivor tried to fight the Doctor, but the Doctor easily brought him down with a quick punch to the gut and then another to the jaw.

Dana meanwhile managed to overpower the female survivor and get her into an arm lock, whilst the Doctor picked up the gun he had kicked out of the male survivors hands and pointed it at both of them. Dana released the female survivor.

“I’m sorry about that, but neither of us are here to hurt you. It might sound unbelievable, but I did work here, possibly centuries ago. Still we’re here by chance and whatever is going on, we want to help.”

The survivors didn’t believe either of them.

“You’re just trying to trick us, the male survivor sneered at the Doctor. You’re lying about the ship too. You’re trying to break, us make us think there’s no escape from your monsters.”

“You moron” the Doctor said losing his patience. “Why did I just blow them up. I could shoot you now, and I am sorry but I am not lying. I saw a ship get destroyed by one of those monsters. It was gigantic.”

“You want information out of us, so you’re trying to trick us, its not going to work, the male survivor protested.

The female however actually started to believe the Doctor.

“Come on Sleera” she said “He just saved our lives. Also look at how those creatures have attacked us. Not once have they wanted to know who we are, or where we came from. Why would they? We’re defenceless against them. They laugh at our attempts to fight back. If he wanted to kill us, we’d be dead.”

Sleera considered this for a while and then agreed reluctantly with her.

Thank you young lady. The Doctor said proudly. May I ask your name?

She frowned. “I still don’t trust you, but we don’t have a choice”

“That’s a good way of looking at it. Remember we can’t trust you either.” Dana said sharply.

“Well” the Doctor interrupted “whatever the case I’d like to know what you are doing here and if there is anything I can do to help.”

The female survivor paused for a few minutes. She still wasn’t sure if she could trust these two strangers, but after a short while she started talking.

My name is Laragesh. I am part of a rescue mission that was sent to the centre of Paskelia 5 after it was cut off from the governments of the other worlds. Our security force was decimated by the planets edge and so we were sent in. There were over 700 of us sent on the mission. Now as far as I know we are the only two left.”

Where did all of these creatures come from? What are they? The Doctor said more out of curiosity than anything else.

Laragesh continued, somewhat angry at the Doctors lack of concern for her team mates. “We don’t know. Our first guess was that they must have been created here, but we searched through the labs and notes and didn’t find anything to suggest the creation of these monsters. This facility as always seemed to be working towards the benefit of our galaxy, though there was one area.”

“Yes”

“Well it’s probably nothing, but there was a room at the very bottom of the facility. There’s no way any of us could get there however. Its swarming with hundreds of these monsters. I’d very much doubt that’s where they’re being made though. You couldn’t cram two whole armies worth of hundreds of different types of monsters into one tiny little room.

“Well” the Doctor interrupted. “Just because something is small, doesn’t mean it can’t contain something immense on the inside.”

Dana meanwhile was more interested in something else Laragesh had said.

“What do you mean” she said with concern. “two armies?”

“The first wave of monsters were killed before we got here. We don’t know how, but it seems the last of the scientists to be slaughtered managed to find a weapon of some kind that killed them all instantly. Perhaps it was some kind of poison or something, but we didn’t detect any toxins in the air. The second wave came whilst we were investigating the base.”

The Doctor thought about this as he searched around the room for any clues. “I still say the secret lies in the lab at the bottom of this facility. We have to get there, monsters or no monsters. I don’t think for one second that the fine people here would create these monsters to harm the galaxy, but well, sometimes science can be a gamble, lets just say that.”

The Doctor picked up Laragesh’s communicator that she had dropped in frustration earlier.

“Let me see” the Doctor said as he tinkered with the device.

“Its broken” Sleera said disparagingly. “One of the monsters batted it out of my hand. I managed to pick it up again, but it couldn’t pick anything up. Or maybe there wasn’t anything to pick up.”

“Ah there” the Doctor exclaimed somewhat smugly. “Fixed it, the speaker had been disjointed but I managed to pop it back in place.

The Time Lord gave Sleera a smug look before adjusting the machine. There were a few more minutes of static before a voice came through.

“Hello, do you read me. Please someone, help us.”

“Hello this is Sleera” he said as he snatched the communicator off of the Doctor, who turned to Dana and said “Well that’s just rude as well as ungrateful.”

“Please tell us where are you?”

“We’re on the 8th floor, please we managed to get away from it, but be careful” the machine suddenly cut off.

“Well looks like we’re headed to the 8th floor” the Doctor said with regret.

Sleera however hesitated for a moment. “I’m, I’m not sure” he said nervously.

“SLEERA” Laragesh said in disbelief.

“I’m not afraid, but I honestly don’t see what we can do to help them. You saw what happened to our platoon. I think we need to get out of here.”

“Where to?” the Doctor interrupted.

“I told you your ship was destroyed. You’re only way off is my vessel, and the only chance you have of getting to it, is if there are as many of us as possible.”

“Who are you anyway? Why are we even listening to you, you’re an intruder here.”

“Oh lets not go through that again, look I’m going to go and help you’re friends down there, you can either join us, or stay up here alone and easy to pick off. Well?”

Knowing there was no way he could convince Laragesh, and not wanting to be alone if any more of those monsters returned, Sleera reluctantly agreed and the four unwilling companions descended to the 8th floor.

The 8th floor was the largest yet. It was a massive lab containing huge machines, all of which had been broken. Surprisingly however there were far fewer corpses here. There was a massive window at the end of the room which had been smashed open. Outside the forest the Doctor and Dana had arrived in could be seen. It appeared to be all there was outside the mountain. There were certainly no other signs of civilisation.

The foursome searched the room for any signs of life and at the far side Doctor saw a small steel door that had been sealed shut. At the back of the room meanwhile was another door that appeared to be ripped off of its hinges.

The Doctor tried to open the steel door with his sonic screwdriver, whilst Laragesh and Sleera decided to inspect the other room.

Suddenly the room began to shake. Dana who had been inspecting one of the corpses looked up and saw the same giant monster that had pursued her and the Doctor in the forest earlier. It had climbed up the entire mountain to get to the facility!

The Doctor hadn’t noticed it. He was too busy trying to crack the lock that he hadn’t even taken much notice of the tremor.

The monster was fixated on the Doctor who was closer to it. Dana tried to shout to the Doctor, but it was too late. Before she could even open her mouth, the monsters arm reached in for the Time Lord. The Doctor fortunately managed to dodge it in time, but as he tried to run towards Dana, the beast managed to knock him to the floor. It then grabbed hold of his leg and started to slowly pull the Doctor towards it.

Dana ran towards the Doctor and tried to pull him free but it was no use. She screamed at Sleera and Laragesh for help. The two ran back into the room and first tried shooting at the monster which accomplished nothing, and then tried to pull the Doctor free from its grip.

Sadly however their combined strength was no match for the beast. The Doctor could see a sadistic smile appear on the beasts face. It knew there was nothing he could do to escape it and it was enjoying every second of it.

To be continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 1 The Demons of the Underground

“Roll up, roll up, roll up. Come get tickets to see the Circus of Tzas” the young boy shouted whilst pestering as many adults as he could to buy some tickets. Only one responded to him however, and it was really out of pity more than anything else. She certainly wasn’t going to see a Circus of all things, but she didn’t want to leave the poor little urchin to go hungry.

The young urchin however was somewhat intimidated by the sight of this strange lady who he knew from reputation. She was quite unlike anyone else in all of London. She was dressed in completely dark, strange clothing. She wore a low cut black top, surrounded by a black fur coat, had pale skin, whiter than snow, a long thin nose, piercing green eyes, and a massive beehive hair cut. She was also smoking too which the young boy thought was most unlady like. When she smiled, the boy could see what appeared to be sharp teeth, though only for a few seconds.

Despite her somewhat elegant, if unusual appearance, when she spoke it was in an extremely guttaral, thick cockney accent.

“Awright Darling, here have one on me. ” she said in a friendly tone as she handed him some money. After a few seconds hesitation the boy accepted before running away. He may have been scared of this strange, generous lady, but this was more money than anyone else had ever given him. He shouted thank you at her as he ran away, almost too intimidated to even look at her.

The lady in question, Carlene, had built up quite a reputation in the area. Despite being here for over 6 decades, she seemingly hadn’t aged a day and still had the appearance of a woman in her 20s. Any time there was something weird happening she was always there. Still despite the fact that many suspected her of witchcraft and something unnatural, she had the full protection of the police force.

The truth was Carlene didn’t belong here, in this place, this city, or even in this time. She had been pulled from her own era by a supernatural force far greater than even she could comprehend and thrust into the early 19th century. She had never really adapted well to this era, but even in her own time Carlene had never really fitted in.

She was a Vampire, specifically of the breed known as the Heklox. Unlike almost all other members of her kind however, Carlene had learned to control her bloodlust many years ago (or rather many decades in the future.)

Carlene was born in the year 1943 in London. She had always aspired to be a famous singer and even sang in a Jazz band called The Dots in the early 60s. Tragically just as they were on the cusp of making it really big, she was turned into a Vampire by an obsessive fan at the age of just 23.

Initially Carlene tried to isolate herself from humanity, fearful that she would give into her demonic urges. Over time however she learned rather than to hide from her bloodlust, to use it to fight evil. She channelled all of the monstrous, hideous urges she now possessed as a Vampire into battling Demons and other supernatural creatures. Over the course of the next 5 decades Carlene would travel the world fighting evil.

She travelled everywhere from New York to China to Rome to Scotland to Vienna, she was part of a league of other benevolent supernatural creatures including a Werewolf, a Wizard and Greek God. She faced off against Martian Vampire invaders, Evil Egyptian Gods and monsters from hell itself.

Yet despite all of this the supernatural was still able to surprise Carlene, even after all this time. She had never even considered time travel a possibility, but in the year 2017, Carlene was catapulted backwards in time by a powerful Demon. The Demon known as Orastica had been working on mastering time travel for thousands of years.

Orastica had originally served a higher level Demon known as Quaralex who had been slain in a great battle many thousands of years ago. Such was Orastica’s devotion, it never gave up trying to find a way to go back and save its Demonic master. Carlene sabotaged the Demon’s attempts to change history however and slew it, but unfortunately the powerful magics Orastica had attempted to use still created a tiny tear in space and time, which pulled Carlene backwards to the early 19th century London.

Carlene would spend the first few years living off of the streets of London until she rescued a wealthy, old woman named Alicia from the Demonic spirit of her own son, Jeffrey. Jeffrey had been sacrificed by a Demonic cult who transformed him into the spiritual manifestation of their former leader who went on to terrorise the local town.

Alicia and her son were already outcasts, with Jeffrey having been born out of wedlock which sadly carried a huge social stigma at the time. The Demons had selected him for this reason, believing that his anger and resentment towards the bullying and unfair treatment that had followed him for his entire life would make Jeffrey an effective Demon.

Many in the town incorrectly believed that Alicia was in on her son’s crimes and even giving him shelter. Things got so bad that a crowd descended on her house at one point and dragged the woman onto the streets. This was when she first met Carlene who managed to scatter crowd. Carlene’s own reputation on the streets was enough to send them all fleeing without too much of a fight. Carlene would later free Jeffrey’s soul from the curse and allow his spirit to rest.

Grateful for helping her, Alicia would take Carlene in, and over the next 3 decades the Vampire would in many ways become like the daughter Alicia had never had. When Alicia passed away in the 1870s, she left all of her vast wealth to Carlene who would use it to help her battle the paranormal all over London.

The Vampire also used her wealth to donate to various charities however, particularly those concerning children. Carlene loved children. Despite this however Carlene was mindful not to change history. If she saw a threat to the past she would stop it, but since this was completely new territory for her, she was mindful not to interfere too much.

At times Carlene wasn’t even sure if she should battle ordinary Demons on the street, as for all she knew if she saved someone, their descendants could go on to change history in ways she couldn’t imagine. Or for all she knew she was always meant to have been sent here and if she didn’t save someone then it would change history.

Ultimately however Carlene’s strong moral sense always won out in the end, and if she saw a Demon threatening innocent people she would have to stop it.

Over the decades Carlene would face many dangerous adversaries and monsters including Jack the Ripper, who in reality was one of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys. Jack had once been Peters favourite, but he was always very unpredictable and cruel. Pan found him great fun at first, but he eventually became too wild and unpredictable, even for Pan himself. Pan eventually exiled Jack back to London, but without the magics of Neverland, he began to age rapidly (having lived in Neverland for 100s of years.) Jack would subsequently slaughter various women in order to use their blood for a ritual to regain his eternal youth. Fortunately Carlene would put a stop to his criminal activities and the former Lost Boy aged to dust as a result.

Carlene also battled with Elizabeth Bathory, one of the most twisted and evil Vampires of all time. Bathory had been walled up alive in her castle for many centuries. She was freed sometime in the 19th century however by Dracula and would later regain her former strength.

Taking on the identity of a friendly, playful nanny named Mary Poppins, Bathory would gain access to various children that she would prey on until Carlene finally slew the monster.

Carlene also saved the earth from being plunged into eternal darkness by the wicked Miss Havisham. Havisham, having had her heart broken became determined to drag the rest of the world into her misery. Using the broken hearts of men (that she had cut out) she created a spell that would have been able to condemn everyone on earth to live out their worst fears over and over again. Carlene however, with the aid of Pip (whose heart she attempted to use in her spell) and a Demonic convict, (that Pip had earlier shown clemency to) was able to destroy Havisham after a showdown at her house against her Gargoyle minions.

The police force would come to an understanding with Carlene. Whilst they did not ever trust or particularly like the Vampire, they realised that she had a greater knowledge of the paranormal than anyone else in the city. Carlene often had a similar relationship with the authorities wherever she stayed for any given period of time.

Many people in the local town would still throw things through Carlene’s window, or refuse to serve her in a local resturant. Many knew that she was a Vampire, but even those who didn’t, still felt she was sinister and involved in the black arts. Anyone who threatened the Vampire however was still charged as the police still valued Carlene’s help too much with paranormal cases.

Carlene meanwhile didn’t care whenever ignorant people would shout at her that she was a monster. She was used to people not being able to accept that a Vampire could be anything other than evil, and to be fair 99.9 percent of the time that was true!

Carlene had also accepted that she was seemingly stuck in this era too. Despite the vast resources she had, she never bothered to research any magics that would allow her to time travel, as she believed that they were too unstable, dangerous and not meant to be tampered with.

There was also really nothing more for Carlene in her own time than there was in the 19th century.

Of course little did Carlene know that very soon she’d be able to escape both this time and world through the most unlikely of means.

Carlene had just been to the police station to help them crack a case involving the zombified corpse of the former criminal mastermind, and evil wizard Doctor Masterik. Carlene had been fighting Masterik for many years (and had even foiled an attempt by the Wizard to condemn all of England to a horrific curse.) She had personally killed him too, but unfortunately the criminals servants had found a way using his own black arts to revive him.

Carlene was sure she had seen the last of him this time “even that bugger couldn’t put himself together again after that” she thought as she walked home through the foggy streets of Victorian London.

It was almost day time, and whilst sunlight wasn’t fatal to Carlene’s breed of Vampire as it was to many others, she still often slept through the day.

Carlene just wanted to get home, have a cold glass of cow blood, and then have a long days sleep after the night she had. However when she got home she found two children sitting anxiously on the steps outside her home.

One of them, a girl was about 16 or 17 years old, whilst the other, a boy couldn’t have been older than 12.

“Awright is there something I can do to help you both?” Carlene said, wondering if she was going to have get her windows fixed again.

“Please you have to help us” the little boy mumbled through tears as his sister hugged him tight.

“Now, now darling don’t cry” Carlene said in a gentle tone as she comforted the boy.

The sister spoke more firmly with Carlene.

“Look I know who you are. You’re, you’re not human are you mam. Normally when we see you in the street we give you a wide berth like everybody else, but please, our little brother, he was. He was taken, by something. I don’t know what, but it wasn’t human. It snatched him and it went into the underground. I looked but I couldn’t”. She had to stop there to regain her composure. Carlene put her hand on the young girls shoulder and she continued.

“Please I know you don’t care about us, no one does, but I need your help. I’m begging you” the young girl broke down and got on her knees.

“I may not be human, but I still care. Of course I’ll help you both. You can stay at my house for as long as you need and I’ll search for your brother right away, but I’m going to need some more information about this creature that took your little brother. Okay darling.”

The girl was shocked by Carlene’s answer. She had heard rumours about her being a Demon, and had always thought she looked quite creepy. She had only gone to this strange lady in black because she felt the police wouldn’t know how to deal with the monsters. Still she thought she would have to bargain with Carlene or even blackmail her by revealing that she was a Demon to the police (as if they didn’t already know) but to her surprise Carlene was extremely gentle and sympathetic.

“What’s your name darling.”

“Ashlei, Ashlei McKay”.

“Awright Ashlei, lets get you and your little brother inside. Can I ask what your name is young man?”

The little boy was still too upset to properly speak and so Ashlei told Carlene her little brothers name. “He’s called Tom” Ashlei said softly.

“Well don’t worry Tom, sweetheart I promise I’ll find out what happened to your brother okay. Lets just get you somewhere warm first.”

Carlene took them inside and told them both to remain here until she got back. She told the two children that they would be safe in here as Carlene had placed various protection spells around the house for Demons, whilst none of the villagers would dare attack the house out of fear of retribution from the police.

Carlene question Ashlei some more about the creature that had attacked them. She didn’t push too hard as she could see how difficult it was for Ashlei to even acknowledge what had happened.

We were sleeping in Paddington, where we always sleep, next to the tube station. Its a good place to beg. So many people come and go, you’re bound to hit on one who’s generous. We were all huddled together as usual when suddenly.”

She had to pause for moment. Carlene put her hand on Ashlei’s shoulder to comfort her.

“Its okay love, I understand but please I need more information on the creature. Was it a Vampire? A Demon?”

“I don’t know” Ashlei snapped through tears. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It ripped through the gates of the underground. It was strong. Strong and huge. Its skin was slimy, white, and the stench that came from it. I was almost sick. It looked bloated, but it moved so fast. It cornered us before I could even wake the boys. We’d have all been dead if it wasn’t for some poor old bugger that distracted it.

Ashlei continued “He was an old drunk who used to wander round the neighbourhood at night. Sometimes he’d shout at us to give us the money we’d been given by strangers. I’d generally just ignore him however. He was never violent or threatening towards us. To tell you the truth I pitied him. I sometimes did give him any spare change I had. He wouldn’t get it from anyone else that’s for sure. The boor blighter probably thought it was someone giving us money instead of him again and he ran towards that thing to plead. It.” She paused again almost as though she was about to be sick. “It tore him to pieces. There was nothing we could have done. We ran as far as we could down the street, but the monster chased us. Eventually me and Tom managed to lose him, but when I turned around I saw….. I saw that my youngest brother, Brian was gone. I thought he was right behind us, but obviously that monster got him. I was too busy running to even look out for him. I left him. I was a coward and left the person I should have been looking out for the most.”

Ashlei collapsed into Carlene’s arms. “Don’t worry I promise I’ll find that creature” Carlene said gently as she comforted the young urchin

Tom spoke up “Do you know what it was?”

“No, but from your sisters description it sounds like a Vampire.”

“You mean like you” Tom replied somewhat nervously.”

“No, nothing like me. There are hundreds of different breeds of Vampire. They’re all monstrous. Except for me. I’m a one in a million Vampire. From the sounds of things though this could be a whole new breed. I should be able to track it. I can’t imagine its got that far and even in a place as big as the London underground a Vampires stench still stands out.”

Carlene fetched her various anti Vampire weapons and placed them inside her beehive. Carlene had always worn a beehive, even before she became a Vampire. It was in fashion when she was alive in the 60s, but she had kept wearing it in the decades after and before which often made her stand out from the crowd.

The reason for that however was not just a fashion choice. Carlene’s beehive was actually a secret weapons chest. Thanks to powerful magics, it was bigger on the inside than the outside. Carlene kept stakes, axes, bottles of holy water, even guns in her beehive (though she didn’t like to use guns in Victorian England.) At one point Carlene had even kept a small, carnivorous Goblin in her beehive, though sadly she had left her little pet in the 21st century. Her beehive was also magically fused to her head. She could take it off any time she wanted, but no one else could knock it off her head.

Carlene made the two children promise a final time not to leave the house under any circumstances before setting off through the foggy streets of London. It was still dark, though there was probably only half an hour or so of night left. Carlene hoped that this Vampire was vulnerable to sunlight. She was fairly confident that she would return. Even though it was a seemingly unknown breed of Vampire she had slain many thousands of Vampires in her time.

Carlene’s house was not far from the tube station where the three children had been attacked. She was able to get there in about 10 minutes. The beggars corpse lay by the stairs leading down to that gates that had been torn open.

The beggars body had been mutilated beyond all recognition and his guts had been torn out. One leg had been ripped clean off and scattered across the other side of the road. Carlene placed her dark fur coat over the mangled body as a sign of respect.

“Poor sod” Carlene said bitterly “I wonder if there’s anyone out there that’ll even know the right name to put on your grave stone.”

Carlene tread slowly down the stairs into the underground. She could pick up a very faint sent of something unnatural. Vampires of her breed had an incredibly enhanced sense of smell. Ironically Carlene had always been picked on for having a large nose growing up.

This creatures scent, whatever it was, was genuinely unlike anything she had ever encountered before. Carlene traced the scent down the railway. As the stench got stronger and stronger Carlene found tiny drops of yellow slime on parts of the rail. Many Vampire breeds, particularly the stronger types dripped slime. In the dark Carlene could see what looked like a large hole by the side of the railway track.

It looked big enough for two people to slip through. Carlene looked down the passage and saw a long tunnel, filled with water, ankle deep.

She wadded through the water, constantly searching round for any sight of the monster or its possible victims. The tunnel seemed to be never ending, but as Carlene climbed further and further down the abyss she started to pick up the scent of human blood as well.

When she reached the end of the tunnel she saw that it led to a small waterfall on the other side which in turn led to a massive cavern. In the middle of the cavern was a massive pile of mangled body parts. All that was left of the previous victims. Just behind the mountain of human remains however Carlene could see two people chained to a wall. One of them was an a teenager aged about 18 years old, whilst the other was a small boy who couldn’t have been older than 9 years old. The older boy was struggling in his chains, whilst the younger boy was just crying.  10 feet or so to the right of them was another tunnel.

“Why had they both been spared” Carlene thought? She didn’t like the look of this at all, but obviously  she had to help the boys. Using her Vampire agility and strength, Carlene jumped from the top of the waterfall to right in front of the boys. She must have leaped over 80 feet in one jump!

The two boys recoiled in horror at the sight of Carlene when she landed in front of them without making a single sound.

“I knew it” the elder boy said in terror. “I knew you was in on it. We’ve always thought you were creepy. I bet that thing’s your pet or your son or something”

Carlene rolled her eyes. She didn’t have time to bother to explain her full life story to them, and hoped the two boys would see she wasn’t there to hurt them by her actions.

As Carlene went to try and rip the chains off the wall she suddenly heard a thumping noise. It was coming from the tunnel to the right of the boys. Carlene quickly jumped onto the wall above the tunnel, which her Vampiric powers allowed her to stick to.

She waited patiently for the monster to emerge. The boys kept quiet as they weren’t sure what she was doing and didn’t think anyone could help them anyway. They were both frozen in a state of terror.

The monster slowly crept out of the tunnel. Ashlei wasn’t lying in her description. The monster must have stood about 8 feet tall. It had to crouch when walking down the tunnel. Its body was completely white, whilst there were horrible, yellow, wet patches all over its body. Its hands were also dripping with yellow slime too, whilst its claws ended in yellow, rotting, but very sharp talons. The monster’s eyes were bright green meanwhile with a red pupil. Its hair was white, thinning and scraggly.

The monsters mouth was filled with massive razor sharp fangs like any Vampire, whilst a putrid green slime dripped from its mouth and down its chest.

Its entire body was bloated, but its stomach in particular was massive, whilst tiny green and yellow warts and spots littered its entire body.

The creatures stench up close was so great that Carlene felt like vomiting all over the beast.

As the monster moved towards the two boys, smiling with sadistic delight at how petrified they both were. Carlene reached into her beehive for a weapon. She pulled out a long wooden stake. A stake through the heart was a common weakness of many Vampire breeds (including Carlene’s.) It would be a safe first option to test as a weakness on this new breed of Vampire.

Carlene jumped on the bloated Vampires back with a lightening speed. The beast completely taken by surprise tried to shake her off, but Carlene dug her claws deep into its flesh. The monster was every bit as disgusting to touch as it was to look at. Its skin was ice cold to the touch, so much it was almost burning! It was also wet and slimy. Carlene probably couldn’t have pulled her hand away, even if she wanted without some force as the slime was so thick.

Carlene rammed the stake straight into the monsters back. It didn’t even react, but Carlene dug the stake in deep until she pierced its heart. Nothing.

Carlene then reached into her beehive for a silver sharp, but the monster reacted by ramming backwards into a nearby wall. Such an act would have crushed an ordinary human into nothing but paste, but Carlene’s Vampiric constitution allowed her to survive unscathed. It was still a most unpleasant experience however as the monsters slimy, warty fat filled her mouth.

The monster would ram her again and again a few more times, but Carlene having become practically embedded in its back used all of her strength to pull herself off of the monster.

Carlene ran towards the waterfall and immersed herself in it. It wasn’t just for vanity. The slime that covered her body from the monsters back was painful. It stung all over her body.

If it had been the sewers, Carlene would have dumped herself in the sewage to get the slime off!

Carlene next pulled out a gun loaded with silver bullets and fired 3 shots into the monsters heart. Again it did little to deter it, with the monster simply twitching for a few seconds before laughing at Carlene’s latest attempts to hurt it. Carlene soon pulled out an axe from her beehive in response. Made from Bronsicate, metal forged by the gods themselves, it was capable of piercing the skin of just about any creature on earth.

With one swing of her blade Carlene took the bloated beasts hand clean off. Within seconds however it completely regrew its hand. Carlene was more than a little shocked. She’d never seen a Vampire with that kind of healing capability before. It must be a very old, or perhaps even an Alpha Vampire.

The monster lunged at Carlene, both arms out. It was fast, faster than any human could possibly be, but fortunately Carlene was faster. Carlene went for the monsters stumpy leg next with her axe which took it clean off. Though the leg regrew again, the monster still stumbled to the ground. Carlene then struck the Vampire in the back of the neck.

Unfortunately however before Carlene could fully part the beasts head from its shoulders, the beast managed to grab the axe, whilst it was in its neck!

With one hand the monster threw Carlene about ten feet across the room, whilst it still clutched her axe.

The Vampires strength absolutely dwarfed Carlene’s. It would probably take about 30 of Carlene’s breed to arm wrestle this Vampire.

“Oh bollocks” Carlene said to herself when she saw the monster wielding her axe. She fished through her beehive again but before she could pull anything out the monster ran at Carlene swinging her own axe. She managed to dodge it in time. Her greater speed allowed her to continue ti dodge the monsters attacks but only just, and she wasn’t able to pull anything out of the portable weapons chest on her head in the meantime.

The larger Vampire was getting visibly frustrated. It wasn’t used to an enemy that could evade its attacks. Carlene tried to keep the monster away from the children. She lured it back towards the waterfall. Her chance came when the monster briefly stuck its axe in the wall. It was only for a moment, but that was all Carlene needed to flip back 20 feet in the air and land on and stick to the wall next to the waterfall.

This Vampire didn’t look like a jumper so Carlene could safely test which of the weapons in her beehive would work on the monsters from up here. First Carlene threw a gold dagger straight into the monsters throat which did nothing. Then she shot it several times using a gun loaded with iron bullets. Then she dropped a magical bomb on the monster, only dangerous to whoever the used wants to be. The bomb created a massive blue explosion which enveloped the entire room. When the blast faded however, the bloated Vampire stood there perfectly fine.

“You pathetic coward. You stand there throwing trinkets at me, because you are afraid of a fair fight! Come down and face me!” It slabbered at Carlene.

“I hardly think a bloke who picks fights with old beggars and defenceless children can call anyone a coward”. Carlene sneered back.

The monster started throwing things at Carlene. It threw back her gold dagger, and started ripping out slabs of concrete from the ground itself and hurled them at Carlene who effortlessly dodged the monsters clumsy throws. Eventually however the beast made a mistake and threw Carlene’s axe at the beehived Vampire which she caught instantly.

Carlene then jumped towards the two boys again and using her axe broke their chains. “Get behind me boys” which they obliged. They still didn’t trust Carlene, but they could see she was at least, the lesser of two evils compared to that monster.

The monster circled Carlene and the boys, waiting for the right moment to strike. As Carlene reached into her beehive for another weapon the monster paniced and tried to attack the beehive topped Vampire, but it proved to be a mistake. Once again Carlene sliced the monsters hands off, but whilst it was regrowing, Carlene pulled a bottle of holy water from her beehive and threw it in the monsters face.

This time there was a reaction. The colossal Vampire sank to its knees and clutched its face in pain as its flesh began to sizzle.

Carlene walked calmly towards the bloated Vampire knowing it wouldn’t put up much of a fight now, and raised her axe to part its head from its shoulders.

Just as she was about to strike, Carlene suddenly heard the two boys scream. She spun round and to her horror, stood another Vampire similar to the beast she had just fought, holding the two boys in the air by the back of their necks.

This Vampire was much smaller than the previous one, and it was a female.

“Drop the axe NOW, and take that stupid thing off your head.” The Vampire had clearly been watching from the tunnel, waiting for the right moment to strike.

“But it’s my actual hair”

“Really?” the monster said, somewhat surprised.

“Yeah look I’ll show you” Carlene said as she reached into her hair and threw two smoke bombs in the monsters direction. The gas startled the Vampire enough to make her drop the two boys allowing Carlene (who could see through the gas clearly) to grab the two boys. With the two monsters blocking the the way to the waterfall, Carlene was forced to run down the tunnel with the two boys.

At the end of the tunnel was a small room which led to three different tunnels. A figure began to emerge from down the left tunnel.

Carlene kept the boys behind her whilst she went to confront it. The figure looked like an ordinary man. He certainly wasn’t one of those hideous monsters, but he didn’t look well at all.

“Don’t afraid. Everyone might think I’m a bit creepy, but I’m here to help. Just let me”

The man interrupted Carlene shouting at her “Please get away. Those things they” he suddenly coughed up a hideous, steaming yellow liquid from his mouth as he clutched his sides, and sank to his knees in agony.

The same yellow liquid began to burst out of other parts of his body including the palms of his hands. His arms, legs, torso and face all began to swell too. He screamed in absolute pain, but there was nothing Carlene could do except try and put him out of his misery.

These creatures had obviously infected him and there was no way to reverse the process of becoming a Vampire. It was better he died now. Carlene pulled a sword out of her beehive. Just then Carlene suddenly heard a singing voice coming from the other end of the tunnel. She turned round to see a strange blue skinned woman standing in the centre tunnel. She had flame red hair, and was dressed in a long flowing white dress. She was incredibly beautiful and her voice seemed to have an effect on the two boys and the man changing into a Vampire, who seemed to forget the pain he was in as he wandered closer to this strange woman. Carlene had to hold the boys back meanwhile. “I don’t get what all the fuss is about” Carlene thought to herself. “Her voice is nice, but its kind of limited. I doubt she could sing anything by Sinatra or Billie.”

Carlene watched as the blue Siren lured the young man near to her. She didn’t know why but Carlene didn’t think that the creature was evil. Maybe she was falling under its hypnotic spell too. Carlene didn’t think so however. Whatever this creature was, she didn’t seem evil, and maybe she could help this poor soul.

When the man came close to the Siren however, she stabbed him through the heart with a strange knife. Carlene instantly reacted and ran towards the Siren, with its victim falling into Carlene’s arms.

The man began to change back into a human after being stabbed in the heart. At first Carlene felt like attacking the Siren but then she realised that she had only done what Carlene herself was about to do a few seconds earlier. Carlene pulled the knife out of the victims heart. The blade was made of copper, obviously a weakness of this breed of Vampire. The Siren snatched it out of Carlene’s hand.

“That’s alright I’ve got my own” Carlene said as she ruffled through her beehive. She was sure she had a copper weapon of some kind in there. Copper was a common weakness among certain breeds.

The Siren suddenly pushed Carlene down as she ran towards the two boys. The two giant Vampires had made their way down the tunnel and were preparing to advance on the children. Carlene quickly jumped up and joined the Siren, pulling a silver sword out instead as it was all she could reach in time.

The Siren slashed at the face of the female Vampire who reached out to grab the boys. Carlene meanwhile went for the larger male. She swung her sword at the monster but it managed to dodge her attacks before grabbing the blade, and pulling the sword out of Carlene’s hand. Carlene jumped onto the creature’s chest and managed using her full body weight to knock it back into a wall, causing it to drop the sword. She delivered a flurry of punches to the monsters face, before it batted her across the room.

The Siren meanwhile had been overcome by her Vampire. She wasn’t anywhere near as skilled a fighter as Carlene.  The monster had made the Siren drop her knife and had also managed to pin her to the ground. The two boys meanwhile were cowering in the back. There was nothing either could have done, and if they had tried to interfere they’d probably just have made things worse.

Carlene attacked the female Vampire. She grabbed the brute from behind and pulled it off of the Siren. The female Vampire quickly managed to shake Carlene off, but the beehived Vampire had managed to distract it long enough for the Siren to grab her copper knife and stab the female Vampire in the heart with it. The female Vampire crumbled into nothing but a pile of ash on the floor.

Carlene and the Siren stood in front of the two boys, both brandishing weapons. The male Vampire didn’t look scared however.

Several more of its kind soon came trundling down the three corridors. About ten in total. Carlene quickly headed for the two boys whilst the Siren jumped into the crowd of monsters. Carlene called at her to stop, but within a few seconds the monsters were on top of the Siren. Carlene tried to help the Siren. She lifted a bottle of holy water from her hair and splashed it over several of the Vampires, scattering some of them. Carlene could see fleetingly through the mess of Vampires that the Siren had managed to escape down the middle tunnel, with some of the Vampires pursuing her.

Carlene didn’t know if the Siren could escape that way, but sadly she didn’t have time to worry about her mysterious blue ally. She had to think of the boys who were completely defenceless against the monsters. Grabbing the two boys, one under each arm, Carlene darted back down the corridor to the room with the waterfall, with most of the Vampires in hot pursuit.

Fortunately Carlene could outrun the Vampires no problem and once she reached the waterfall she was able to jump to the top with her Vampiric strength. Carlene quickly reached the other end of the tunnel above, back on the railway. With the monsters right on her tail, Carlene lifted a bottle of holy water out of her hair and poured it into the ankle deep water which filled the tunnel. (Once she was free, as holy water was lethal to Carlene’s breed of Vampire as well.)

The Holy water affected all of the water in the tunnel, and it instantly began to glow yellow and burn the Vampires feet. Some of the Vampires fell face down in the water from the pain. Others tried to run, but the holy water burned their feet away into nothing and they fell into the water too. Only a few, including the original Vampire Carlene who had faced (who she was sure had to be the Alpha as he was the largest and strongest.)

Only the Alpha had the strength to jump from the top of the waterfall to the other end of the room. The other Vampires, too weak from the pain, and their feet having virtually been eaten away simply fell down the waterfall which burnt them away to nothing.

The Alpha meanwhile, couldn’t stand once it reached the cavern below. Its feet were burnt to a crisp and it could barely stand.

Carlene told the two boys to wait behind whilst she crawled along the roof of the tunnel, avoiding the holy water. She told the two boys that if any creatures come up the railway line they are to jump into the holy water where they would be safe. She didn’t like to leave them, but she had to make sure there was no one else in the Vampires clutches. All of the Vampires in the tunnel had been consumed by the holy water, with only a few burnt pieces of flesh floating in the water being all that remained of the beasts.

When Carlene made her way into the room with the waterfall, she could see the former Alpha lying on the floor, clutching what was left of its feet, screaming in absolute agony.

It would be an easy kill now, but Carlene almost felt pity for the beast. She would make it quick.

She jumped from the ceiling she had clung too, onto the monsters chest. The beast was too weak to fight back, but it spat at Carlene in a final act of defiance.

Carlene calmly took an axe from her beehive and parted the monsters head from its shoulders, after which it crumbled to ash instantly. Carlene searched through the entire underground area. She didn’t find any other survivors, and only one other Vampire, which she quickly decapitated with her axe.

In the three rooms at the end of the three tunnels were the chained and mangled corpses of various street urchins. “Poor sods” she thought. “They were easy meat for these monsters” Carlene didn’t find any traces of the Siren however. In the centre room, which the Siren had ran too, Carlene found a massive hole in the ceiling. When she investigated it she saw that it led to another part of the London underground.There was seemingly nothing around. It was possible the Siren had escaped this way, but Carlene didn’t have time to investigate. She couldn’t leave the boys any longer.

The two boys had huddled together in the dark. Too scared to even move. Neither were sure if they wanted Carlene to return or not. In spite of everything she had done thy still didn’t trust her as she wasn’t human. Nevertheless the two boys couldn’t help but breath a sigh of relief when they saw Carlene crawling back down the roof of the tunnel.

“All right loves, lets get you both home” she said as she descended from the roof.

“I have no home” said the elder boy with regret.

“You do now. You can stay at my mansion for as long as you need.”

The two were still unsure of Carlene.

“You can trust me” she said with slight frustration. “I did just save you lives. Also do either of you have a sister and a brother.”

The youngest of the two boys suddenly spoke up. “Yes, yes,” he said excitedly. “Ashlei. I tried to keep up with them, but I”.

“Its okay” Carlene said gently. “She and your brother are fine. They sent me here to rescue you. They’re at my house waiting for me to come back. Lets not keep them anymore shall we?”

Carlene led the two boys back to her home. The elder boy, whose real name was Daniel still wasn’t sure about the Vampire but he really didn’t have anywhere else to go. Daniel had been part of a group of boys and girls who had survived on the streets for years. In fact he had risen up to become the leader of his gang. They had all been slaughtered by the Vampires however. The monsters in their cruelty had saved the leader for last. Daniel would carry the guilt at not being able to protect the other children, who in many ways looked up to him as a surrogate father figure, for the rest of his life.

By the time Carlene returned home with the two boys, it was light. Ashlei and Tom had sat anxiously by the door the entire time for what felt like hours for the two orphans.

They couldn’t believe Carlene had kept her word and after hugging their little brother so hard they almost crushed him Ashlei would hug Carlene too. Both of her brothers were somewhat surprised at her reaction. Their sister had always seemed somewhat hard faced and angry on the streets. To see her cry and show outright affection to anyone or anything was almost as unusual a sight for them as the Vampires!

“I’m sorry I was wrong about you. You, you’re a hero” Ashlei said through tears.

“Thanks, but trust me if you saw me when I’m pissed out of my head you wouldn’t be saying that” Carlene joked.

Carlene was thrilled she had been able to keep her promise to the kids. Seeing them together had made having the Vampires slimy fat in her mouth worth it. Still Carlene knew that the presence of a new breed of Vampire was serious.

“This is not good, not good at all.” She said to herself as she searched through her beehive for something.

“What are you talking about” said a confused Daniel?

“Oh sorry darling, I just meant that if there is a new breed of Vampire out there then that means the book of Khastran must have fallen into the wrong hands.”

“The book of what?”

“Let me explain. You children clearly don’t know much about Vampires. You’re the lucky ones.”

“Yeah we’ve really led a charmed life” sneered Ashlei. “Oh right eh sorry about that.” She then replied sheepishly.

“Anyway” Carlene continued. “The first member of any Vampire breed has to be created from the book of Khastran. Khastran was the first Demon ever to exist. He was said to have been created by the Creator of all things himself. He was also the most evil and powerful Demon ever to exist. He and his race the Kardons, fed on the blood and the souls of their victims. He came to this world thousands of years ago before being banished in a great war with Gods and Angels. He left behind a book however, bound in his flesh, and inked in his blood. Each page of the book has the power to turn any human into the first of a new breed of Vampire. It is said that when Khastran’s children, the Vampires, outnumber humanity then he will rise once again. The book was here in London a few years ago. The last I heard Van Helsing had hidden it somewhere. He didn’t tell me where though. To be fair I don’t think he trusted many people with it, but still it looks like someone’s got it now and is creating new Vampires.”

“How many pages are there in the book”. Asked Ashlei, who was clearly petrified. She always tried to appear tough for the sake of her boys, but the thought of there being more creatures like the one that chased her and her brothers being out there, chilled her to the bone.

“Hundreds of thousands I’m afraid, and there will be a lot worse than that creature we fought today. Whilst there are hundreds of Vampires, they can all be divided into 3 categories. Soul Vampires, Savage Vampires and Pure Vampires.” Carlene said.

“What’s the difference” asked Tom.

“How they are born. Vampirism is spread in many different ways, through a bite, mixing of blood, scratches, but the evil Vampires infect their victims with always takes them over in three different ways.

In the case of a Pure Vampire the evil corrupts the human soul in the body and turns their human soul into a Demons soul. All positive aspects from a person’s personality, love, compassion, are purged in the process, and all negative aspects are heightened. They are the most common Vampires. They must account for about 85 percent of Vampire breeds.

With Savage Vampires meanwhile, the evil ejects the human soul from the body and grows into a Demon that reanimates the corpse. There is nothing human about a Savage Vampire. They are the most powerful and evil of all Vampire breeds, if not Demon species on earth. They are often as single minded as animals.

Finally my breed belong to Soul Vampires. In our case the evil grows into a Demon, that doesn’t expel the human soul from the body. Instead it influences it. All emotions like love, compassion, remorse are repressed, and again our darkest desires are heightened and we are turned into killer monsters. Unlike with other Vampire breeds however there is a possibility, no matter how remote for us to fight the Demons influence. Its the strongest form of mind control in the world. I am not the only person to ever fight the Demon however. There have been a few other isolated cases throughout history, but most Soul Vampires are evil bloodthirsty killers too.

Still the fact that we do still have our human souls causes other Vampires to look on us as pathetic, low life mongrels. Some Pure Vampires will even hunt us down and kills us. We are the rarest type of Vampire.”

Just then Carlene pulled what she had been looking for out of her hair. It was the leaflet for the Circus.

“Yes” she said triumphantly.

“I wouldn’t have thought you went in for that rubbish” Ashlei said with scorn.

“I don’t love, but I knew I had seen that blue woman before.”

She turned the page round, showing that among the many colourful characters on the leaflet was the blue woman with flame red hair that had helped Carlene and the two boys in the sewers.

“Its her the blue lady with the beautiful voice” Brian said in amazement.

“Yes clearly there’s more to this Circus than meets the eye. There was a blue woman in the sewers Ashlei. She helped us. I’m not sure, but I think she was a Siren. Whatever the case, she was already there before me. She must know more than us about who is creating these new Vampires. We are going to the Circus tonight children.”