BY DAVID CARROLL
Imperfect Copy a novel
The Tiger who wanted to be Human a comic
Changeling, with Kate Orman
BY KATE ORMAN
Untitled, by Sarah J. Groenewegen
Forgotten Memories, by Evan Paliatseas
The Rushing of Blood, by Evan Paliatseas
Keeper's Demise, by David J Richardson
NON DOCTOR WHO
Alien To Her, by David Carroll
She Twitched, by David Carroll
The Inner Light, by Kate Orman
Waiting in the Light, by Jonathan Barons
Grandfather's Clock, by Steven Caldwell
Messages, by Steven Caldwell
Inge, by Simon Moore
By Kate Orman
First Appeared in Burnt Toast#7, 1991
An addendum to The Twin Dilemma.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
The Doctor stood at the TARDIS console, anxiously looking over the readings. The vehicle was acting oddly, as if there was something she didn't like. He couldn't seem to calm her down.
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
Peri opened her eyes, forcing her way out of her slimy dream. She was lying on her side on the bed, tangled up in the sheet -- the rest of the bedclothes were on the floor. She was drenched in sweat.
She moaned quietly.
All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.
The Doctor shook his head slightly, as if to check that nothing was loose. He couldn't remember anything at all of the turbulent post-regeneration period, though from Peri's descriptions it had been a spectacular one.
The first thing he could clearly recall was his old friend Azmael, struggling, possessed, in the grip of the giant gastropod Mestor. With an unearthly wail the black spectre had detached itself from the old Time Lord's body, and spun off to wet and sticky oblivion. They had defeated the slug-tyrant, at the cost of Azmael's life.
Everything else was an incoherent blur.
Peri came in, wearing a dressing-gown, looking tired and dishevelled. "I don't feel well." she said.
"Hmmm? What's the matter?"
"I feel funny." She sat down heavily on the steps in the corner of the console room.
The Doctor came over and peered at her. "You look as if you need a rest."
"I can't sleep."
He felt her forehead. "You're a bit feverish -- I'd go and have a lie down, if I were you."
"Thanks a lot, Doc." she muttered, and wandered back out. The Doctor resumed his reverie.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
Peri sat miserably on her bed. She felt hot and sticky and unpleasant; her pulse was worryingly fast. Still, the Doctor didn't seem to think there was anything major wrong with her. Maybe she just had space flu, or something.
She pulled her full-length mirror over to the bed, and examined herself in it. She was a blurry shadow. Turning on the light didn't help, it only hurt her eyes.
She stood looking at the dark blob that was herself.
The jaws that bite,
Her reflection smiled at her. She started.
the claws that catch!
She reached frightened hands towards the sharp white grin. They found the smooth cold metal of the mirror.
Beware the Jubjub bird,
Her reflection was all wrong, the wrong shape and texture. It didn't follow her when she moved, it was kept on grinning. She tried to will the mirror-image to look more like her. But she just ended up looking more like it.
and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"
The Doctor flipped a few switches on the TARDIS console. The machine was definitely upset about something, and becoming more so -- half the controls had stopped working, and he couldn't convince the ship to let him help.
Well, let her get on with her tantrum. He decided to go and see how Peri was getting on. The was probably nothing more wrong with her than a mild dose of space flu, but it was worth keeping an eye on her in case it was anything more serious.
He went out into the corridor -- and stopped still. There was a huge shadow on the wall, as if a spider were crawling across a lightbulb somewhere near. As he watched, it gathered itself and detached from the smooth white surface, and became a small human girl.
She smiled at him, bright and white and sharp.
"Peri?" he said.
She stretched in strange directions, her body dark and sticky and flexible. She came towards him.
He backed away. "Peri?" he said again, stupidly.
Slimy tentacles reached out and caught him, and threw him at the wall. The impact knocked the breath out of him. The twisty limbs pushed him against the hard surface.
Peri's face hovered into view, distorted, huge eyes looking at him over a grinning mouth. Slimy antennae oozed from her forehead, almost touching him.
"Mestor." he said.
Her grin widened. The tentacles pushed harder, until he couldn't breathe properly, until he though she was trying to push him through the wall.
Abruptly she let him go, wet eyes blinking. He slid gratefully to the floor, gulping air. She scuttle-oozed off, moving half on the wall and half on the floor, like a demented, obese caterpillar.
He shuddered violently. The slug's shade had possessed poor Peri. It must have come with them from Jaconda, riding piggy-back in her mind, waiting for an opportunity to take over. It was probably only the vestiges of Peri's personality that had prevented the evil gastropod from killing him on the spot.
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Mestor's presence had to explain the TARDIS' bad mood. It was becoming more noticeable, a subtle whine in the engine, a subliminal flicker in the lights. He made his way along angry corridors.
He found what he was looking for in a cluttered cupboard: a sort of psionic capacitor, one which would let him alter Mestor's grip on Peri's mind and body, hopefully enough to let her fight her way free. It looked like a flattened high-tech vacuum cleaner.
The floor gave a violent lurch, tilting so that he slid into the pile of junk, clutching the capacitor to his chest.
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
The TARDIS' wordless voice squealed a protest in the back of his mind. He patted the wall. "I understand, old girl. She's in the console room."
He had trouble getting there. The corridors were shifting subtly, blocking his path. Mestor couldn't know how to program the Architectural Configuration -- the TARDIS must be rearranging itself. "I'm trying to help!" he protested.
But each new piece of architecture was less familiar than the last. "Now, look. Who's in charge here?"
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
The TARDIS shuddered and squealed. "What's that idiot gastropod doing in there?"
But the vehicle wouldn't let him get any closer. And he realised: Mestor couldn't possibly fly her. The slug would have to come looking for the pilot.
And stood awhile in thought.
The TARDIS kept turning and shifting the corridors when he wasn't looking. He frowned at them, annoyed by the effect. "I wish I knew what you were up to."
Soon there was a sizable cul-de-sac outside the console room. He didn't approach the door, the didn't trust the machine not to do something nasty.
He leaned against a white wall, hoping it wouldn't move or disappear, and waited while Mestor played with the craft's controls.
And, as in uffish thought he stood, the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Mestor-Peri oozed out of the door. It saw him at once, with huge, moist, owlish eyes.
He turned the capacitor towards it -- and a wall appeared between them.
"Oh no!" The Doctor broke into a run, trying to find where the white slab ended. He saw slender tentacle-tips coming over the top of the barrier, probing.
He turned the corner, Mestor-Peri was prodding other walls with curious, sticky fingers. As he watched, the monster retreated from two freshly-formed barriers.
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
The corridors danced, shuffled. He tried to get closer to the slug, but the TARDIS seemed intent on keeping them apart.
"What are you doing?" he shouted uselessly. "Let me through!"
And burbled as it came!
There was an agonized whistling howl, from somewhere ahead in the maze. He heard the desperate slapping of tentacles and the scurrying of insect feet as Mestor tried to find a way out of the labyrinth. And suddenly, the Doctor realised what the TARDIS was trying to do.
One, two! One, two! And through and through
He pushed his way to the centre of the maze. Mestor was cowering, surrounded by walls.
The bubbling, painful whine came again as the white surfaces closed in for the kill.
The vorpal blade went
With an ugly noise,
the walls slammed shut.
The Doctor pounded uselessly, despairingly, on the wall. "Peri!"
Something black and foul leaked from the whiteness and rushed away.
Its work done, the wall dissolved, and Peri slumped to the floor. She wasn't crushed, but she seemed flat, as if somehow all the life had been squashed out of her.
The Doctor picked her up and held onto her, searching desperately for the slightest flicker.
He left it dead,
And with its head
He went galumphing back.
Something icy touched him on the back. The coldness went through him like an explosion. He fell down, the blood crystallising in his veins. Peri's lifeless body rolled away.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Something huge and black loomed over him. He forced his shivering body to turn.
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Mestor's oil-slick face grinned at him. He gazed into the owl eyes like a hypnotised rabbit, barely noticing as dark tentacles moved in from all directions to curl around him.
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.
The lethal tentacles pulled tight. He didn't even cry out.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Peri opened her eyes, forcing her way out of her slimy dream.
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
She was lying on her side on the bed, tangled up in the sheet -- the rest of the bedclothes were on the floor.
She sat up, stretching and shrugging, already dismissing the nightmare. What she'd been through on Jaconda was enough to give anyone bad dreams.
She looked at herself in the mirror. With the light off, she was a dark blob.
All mimsy were the borogoves and the mome raths outgrabe.
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