Through the vortex hurled a blue box, like a stone thrown by a giant. Inside the Doctor was manically running round the controls, steering the TARDIS through the years. "Doctor! What are you doing?" asked Norine. The Doctor had decided to steer them back to Earth when suddenly he had turned the TARDIS round.
"Don"t distract me while I'm steering!" shouted the Doctor angrily. "But Doctor…" began Norine. The Doctor turned sharply and glared at her. His eyes seemed different, rolling and mad. "DON"T DISTRACT ME!" he snarled, spit flying from his mouth like bullets. "This is my…" He stopped, seeming to have trouble regaining himself.
"…ship" he said. The TARDIS jolted to a stop.
"We"re here!" cried the Doctor. "Wherever here... AT LAST I AM HERE!"
"Why... Why are we here?" asked Norine, scared at sudden changes in voice.
"I decide where WE GO!" yelled the Doctor. He opened the doors, revealing an array of advanced-looking machinery. But Norine didn"t look at the outside, more interested in the way the Doctor moved towards the doors, somehow joltingly, like someone was trying to hold him back. He grasped the door. "Norine!" he yelled. "Don"t let…Don"t try to stop me!" he finished angrily.
"Doctor, what are you doing?" asked Norine, running over to him.
"I told you not to stop me!" he yelled, hitting her with surprising force. Norine recoiled, more shocked from the outburst then the pain.
"Doctor... What are you doing?" she asked, feeling scared. The Doctor moved towards some of the machinery, continuing to jerk about.
"Norine! Stop me! It"s…YOU WILL NOT DEFY MY POWER!" he snarled.
Norine recognised the voice now. "It"s you!" she cried as the Doctor pulled himself into the machinery.
"You can"t stop us!" cried the other voice as the Doctor, his eyes blazing, placed something round his head and pressed some buttons. Lights began appearing on the device, huge gears were heard moving, towers surrounding them began to shift and huge panels turned downwards. Norine ran towards the Doctor as a bright light shone from the device. She was thrown back as she heard a voice cry "NOW A FORM WILL BE OURS!"
Norine came to a moment later. She saw something spread out before her, a town surrounded by the Towers. Just next to her was a heavily built but small building. She pushed at a door at the side. But it wouldn't open. "Well, perhaps this town should have something useful" she said, beginning to walk towards it.
She got to the gate, which had strange lettering on it she couldn't read, and walked through. There was a Library at the front of the town. "A Library? Should find some answers here" said Norine as she pushed the door open and walked inside. At the desk was a white-haired old man reading about the French Revolution. "Excuse me…" said Norine. The man looked up.
"Yes? What do you want young woman?" he said in an irritable fashion. "I was wondering what this place was" said Norine. "This is MyMind" said the Librarian. "Now kindly don't interrupt me while I am reading. Hmmm!"
Norine backed away and looked round the Library. She bumped into a young man with long hair and old-fashioned clothing including a fob watch who was reading a copy of The Last Man on Earth. "Oh! Sorry" he said in a sensual, kind voice. "Should I go somewhere else?"
"Don"t worry, its fine" said Norine. She glanced at the shelf, which was full of Gothic Fiction. She still wasn't certain what was happening, but remembered something about a Doctor.
"Sorry who are you?" she asked.
"Percy Pollard" said the man, politely holding out his hand.
"Norine Clarke" said Norine, shaking it. "Do you know where a Doctor is?"
"A Doctor?" said Percy in his pleasant voice. "I'm sure there's a Doctor around here."
Somehow Norine felt she could trust him, odd as this place was. "Would you like me to show you around MyMind?" he asked.
"I suppose so" said Norine. They walked out together.
Norine and Percy walked through the town, which was inhabited by some of the oddest looking people Norine had seen. She glanced round as they passed a tall man wearing an incredibly long scarf talking to a younger man who seemed to be wearing a vegetable.
Percy looked up at the sky and Norine, following his gaze, saw dark clouds overhead. "It's good you came here" he said. "As it happens we need your help."
"What's happening here?" asked Norine. Memories were beginning to seep back to her and she remembered something terrible had happened.
"Perhaps I can explain!" said a Scottish voice. It had come from a small man in strange clothing who had just stepped out of a magic shop, carrying a question-mark umbrella. "Would you care to consult the cards?" he asked, pulling a set of tarot cards apparently from the air.
"I used to work in the theatre. I don"t listen to that rubbish!" said Norine.
"RRRubbish? This is no rrrubbish!" said the small man. "I can barely understand what you're saying..."
"Here is my card!" He produced the Magician tarot card from his other hand. Norine was beginning to remember something. She had seen an umbrella like this in the TARDIS, something the Doctor said he carried when he was older. "Do you know of the Doctor?" she said. "There are a lot of Doctors here" said the Magician. "Let us see what my cards can show."
A Hermit card was produced. "Applies to us all" said the Magician. "Now, how can this problem be solved?" He began to pull out another card and looked at it.
A man with short hair, large ears and a leather jacket ran over. "NO! Put it away!" he yelled with a Northern accent.
Norine tried to see what the card was but the Magician quickly hid it.
"Not for anybody outside here to see!" he said.
Norine had seen a man hanging upside down, an old bearded man. "Who was that?" she said.
There are some things better left hidden" said the Magician. "Anyway, one of us has been imprisoned! We must rrrelease him!" "But what happened?" asked Norine. "Let me show you" said the Magician, opening a book. On the pages were pictures. As Norine watched them they began to move and she saw something happening.
MyMind was before them. But as the inhabitants occupied themselves a familiar creature slithered through the town. It looked like a serpent with a horned and fanged vulture's head. The eyes blazed red and a forked tongue flicked out. It watched the people carefully, not letting any of them see it. The War-Feeder slithered towards the man in colourful clothing but relented as it got closer. "He is not as close to me as he seems" muttered the creature. But then a roaring was heard and it slithered towards a building made of stone, with heavy and bolted doors of metal.
"Dark One!" it cried out.
"Who calls me?" cried the Dark One.
"I am the War-Feeder" said the War-Feeder. "I will release you if you help me! I know we both desire physical form. If you join me, I can enable us to both hold this. Do you accept?"
"I accept! Free me!" shouted the voice from inside the prison. The War-Feeder breathed a torrent of fire at the doors and through the prison, its forked tongue flickering among the flames. A cracking was heard inside and the doors were flung open, revealing a shadowy figure, with broken chains round him. "Free! Free from my chains!" it cried. "Now I will hold this realm!"
The shadowy figure stalked through the town the War-Feeder slithering behind. "He's out!" came cries and the people ran out. 10 assembled against the two. The Dark One laughed. "You think you can stop me? I am part of all of you!" The War-Feeder reared up, larger then before, and breathed fire, setting the buildings alight. The Dark One's eyes blazed and dark clouds gathered across the sky, with sounds of war.
"Now I call forth the one who rules currently!" shouted the Dark One. He seemed to pull from the air a young man in tweed and a bow tie, who wrestled him. They wrestled together for a long time, the ground breaking around them, the skies clouding over and lightning cracking. Yet even as this happened a thick mist hid them from the other Doctors.
"It was clever. Making sure we didn't know till too late" said the Magician gloomily.
The War-Feeder breathed fire at the combatants, fire which strengthened the Dark One, but weakened the Doctor. Norine saw flashes of events she recognised as the Doctor seemed to weaken, though he would again overcome his opponent. She saw the Worm King fall into the pit and the Doctor leaving Lumgost the first time. She saw the Doctor give advice to Asad. Then she saw him stand above a wounded Persian and the War-Feeder yelled "Kill him! Kill the invader!" At that moment he was nearly thrown again. But the Doctor knocked his opponent back and healed the Persian. While the conflict happened the War-Feeder gradually grew. When the Doctor was finally brought down, too weak to fight any more, the War-Feeder was more then twice its original size. The Dark Doctor stood above him and laughed.
"I have won Doctor. This is my time, in your last body!"
"I could regenerate!" shouted the Doctor. "And there is nothing new for you to take!"
The Dark One laughed. "On this world thoughts become reality. Your body will die here, but your thoughts will outlive you!"
A forge appeared before him, which the War-Feeder lit with its breath. With a great hammer the Dark One forged his shattered chains anew. "Now you will wear these Doctor!"
The Doctor was chained and dragged to the cell of the Dark One. "Face the imprisonment you put me through!" said the Dark One. "In your thoughts you will face torment."
"Now, Doctor, we will hold your mind!" said the War-Feeder. "I whispered in your mind before, trying to wage war through history. In Thasos we came close to bringing more war. I know the way to another land. There this part of you and me will manifest! Then war will spread through the Universe. The sound of planets breaking, off races tearing themselves apart, will be as music to me!"
The Magician closed the book. "And that is something like what happened!"
"What is this place really?" asked Norine. "Why is the Doctor there?"
The Magician turned to her. "This is the Doctor!"
"The Doctor?" said Norine. "But, what is this? Some psychological representation thing?"
"You could say that" said Percy. "Let me show you something!" He turned round and Norine saw a morgue. "This is where I was born!" said Percy. "This is where I died!" said the Magician, pointing to a hospital bed next to it. "What do you mean?" said Norine. "You"ll find out!" said Percy, now wearing a trench coat and satchel, with his hair shorter.
"Let him out!" cried the cruel voice of the Dark Doctor. "He will be my greatest ally!"
Next to the morgue was a barred room, with scratches and blood on the walls. The door burst open. There were stacks of weapons and burnt remnants and the silhouette of a man with his back to the door.
"You are free, greatest of warriors!" cried the War-Feeder. "Leave! Fight!"
"Don't let me out" said the man sadly. "I deserve to remain here, hidden. I am not the Doctor."
"But you could rule! You could be free!"
"I shouldn't be. I'm a monster, the slayer of my own kind."
The War-Feeder snarled and the door slammed again.
She suddenly heard the Doctor"s voice. "Hello Norine! Love to talk for longer but held by War-Feeder and Dark Side of me. Listen to them! They are me!"
"You? But how?" asked Norine.
"I change!" said the Doctor. "Time Lord trick, not enough time, need to explain. This is what I used to look like and act like, but it was still me. You need to trust them or we're not getting out of here alive. Well, I might but not the part of me I want."
"We need to stop him!" said Norine. "Yes" said the Magician. "But he is with part of us. Attacking him would be to attack a part of ourselves…"
"You know, you'd think with all the evil Doctors we've met we should be better at fighting them" said Percy. "A lot of bad stuff sits inside our head…"
"I'm staying with you" said Norine. "I won't be able to leave this world without you."
"People die because of us" said Percy. "I've gone through a lot. I've lost so many people I love."
Norine heard a cruel laugh and turned around to see the village in ruins. The houses had burned down and the inhabitants were covered in blood. In the centre stood a man with a gaunt face that had a hideous grin on, reminding Norine of Hannibal Lector. He wore a dark torn suit, leather waistcoat and a dagger in a scabbard. The Doctor she knew, young with a bow tie, had been pulled from his cell and was on his knees. The Dark Doctor beat him savagely while round them crawled the War-Feeder, breathing fire. By now it was so large it could rear up face to face with the Doctor. "You hate yourself!" it snarled. "You will this to happen to you! This is what you deserve!"
"I can't change!" cried the Doctor. "Stop torturing me!"
"You may have burnt through your lives!" said the War-Feeder. "The vanity of your past face may have may have cost you two! But I will still take your body, or destroy it!"
"Doctor!" cried Norine, running forward.
The Dark Doctor looked up and laughed. "Norine! My dear companion. How lovely of you to turn up!" As he spoke his form flickered. There was a short older man in the Doctor's tweed and bow tie, with a snide expression. There was an older man in black robes and skull cap with a humourless expression. "I am all your wild side!"
"He is the Anti-Doctor" said the War-Feeder.
"I am the Anti-Time Lord!" cried the Dark Doctor, his body shifting into that of Percy, but with a mad expression. "I am ZAGREUS!"
"Why are you working with him?" asked Norine as the War-Feeder slithered towards her. "And how can you be here?"
"I am not a physical being" sneered the evil spirit. "I've been hiding in the Doctor's mind ever since we first met."
"The Doctor being more violent... You were responsible?"
"Yes. That was my influence. But the Doctor was too difficult. There was too much of him to conquer. The most violent of him didn't want me at all, preferring to hide even from his other selves. But I could still exert my power over his mind, attempt to spread war through history. On Lumgost I caused the Doctor to leave before the Worm King was slain and war was waged on many worlds. But he averted that timeline."
"And were you around in Thasos?"
"I influenced the Doctor enough to bring us there, sensing I could bring about more war. I didn't care for the Persians or their opponents, only desiring war. But again the Doctor foiled me. I tired to persuade him to kill Mardonius, knowing the damage it would cause to the Web of Time. But again he relented and I was forced to hide further in his mind. Despite his best efforts he couldn't stop me for long, now I rule him!"
"You can't do this to him!" said Norine, running over.
The War-Feeder reared up and hissed at her, flecks of fire falling from its mouth. "You've driven people to suicide. You hurled your own race into fire. You inflicted terrible agony on the TARDIS. You were the Monster of Anti-Time Zagreus, you will be the Valeyard, your own hatred manifested in your dreams."
"You've done more good than anybody else!" said Norine. "You can"t fight! That is what the War-Feeder wants! You need to stand against him!"
The Doctor strained at the chains. "You've done so much!" said the Dark Doctor. "Even in this incarnation! Is it surprising the Silence want to destroy you? That they took Amelia Pond! That they took her child and raised her to destroy you! I know you are running from your death! You could die now! And let me take your body next! You won"t have to feel such guilt!"
"YOU CAN"T DO THIS!" said Norine. "The War-Feeder was in me! I know how evil he is! You can"t let him win!"
The Doctor looked at the Dark One and the War-Feeder. He sensed the fear Norine had of the War-Feeder. He could give in to it and no longer have to feel the guilt of centuries. But that was what the War-Feeder wanted. If the War-Feeder or Dark side of him manifested entire worlds could be destroyed. Suddenly the chains felt weak and with a single great strain the Doctor broke free.
"You're free! Now what?" asked Norine.
"Over there! Physical form! Quick!" shouted the Doctor. He pointed and Norine turned to see the Doctor sitting in the seat, with the TARDIS behind him. "Just need to break free of that and I'll be out of here. Though I'll still be in here. We"ll both be out of here…"
How can you stand against us?" said the Dark Doctor, the War-Feeder hissing in a menacing manner.
"Just one question" said the Doctor, with a grimmer tone to his voice. "Which one of you is going to get out? If you try to leave there"ll only be time for one. That will be a problem for you." The Dark Doctor and the War-Feeder turned, the Dark Doctor drawing his dagger, 30 centimetres long, with a serrated edge. The War-Feeder hissed and struck with a belch of flame.
The Doctor and Norine ran back towards where the physical Doctor sat, projecting this mental realm. He was screaming, his eyes flickering red.
"Am I really here? Is this an illusion?" asked Norine.
"A bit of both" said the Doctor. "Your physical form is here. But this lovely village you see around you is sort of how you perceive things. Some telepathy, some virtual reality, like one of those pictures where you turn it and it goes from a duck to a rabbit. It's not really like that, go with telepathy."
"What will happen if they get to you?" said Norine.
"The War-Feeder will use the technologies here to create a physical form and the Dark Doctor will make me become him" said the Doctor. "So we should get a move on!"
The Dark One and the War-Feeder battled, each trying to manifest. The War-Feeder was by now over twice its original length and crawled round its foe, breathing fire, tearing at the Dark One. But the Dark One, with his deadly dagger, slashed at the War-Feeder. Even this old creature, which had created wars for millennia, seemed to hold fear towards the Dark One.
"Come on! We can get out!" shouted Norine.
"You can't! It will still be here!" yelled Percy.
"But we need to save her, whatever happens to us!" yelled a tall slim man in a long brown coat.
"But it might mean... Letting him out" said the Magician.
"NO!" yelled the Northern man. "I'd prefer to die!"
"Now, sometimes it is necessary to do this" said a short man with a recorder.
"Can't he do it?" asked Percy, pointing to a man in a car with grey hair and a frilly shirt.
"Love to old boy, but I don't think I can!" he replied. "Now perhaps..."
"JUST DO WHAT IS NECESSARY!" yelled Norine. "I know what that... fire... thing is like! Get it out!"
The Doctor sighed and turned. The ground shook and suddenly the light dimmed.
A figure, always in shadow, was suddenly there. "It seems I am necessary" he said, in the old voice Norine recognised.
"The man from the cell!" cried Norine.
"Look away!" cried the Doctor, pushing her away. He glared at the hidden Doctor. "I am only letting you out for a moment!"
"I will return soon" he was told. Norine felt sorry for the old man. Despite the fear everybody else seemed to have for him he didn't seem like a monster and there was such sadness in his voice.
The Hidden Doctor broke into a sudden run. The War-Feeder turned suddenly. For a moment he recoiled, then in a more humble voice he cried "Join me, Warrior!"
"I am only a Warrior by necessity" the Warrior replied. In his hand there was suddenly a glowing sword, reminding Norine of Elvish blades. "Now go!"
He smote his foe, who shrieked horribly. The Dark Doctor and War Doctor with their blades struck the monster, who howled horribly, growing smaller, its fires dimming. Finally they seized it and dragged it to the edge.
"You will not destroy me! My spirit will survive! As long as there is conflict, there will always be war to feed..."
"Well you can leave here Mara!" shouted the War Doctor, hurling the creature from his mind. It screamed, its form fading away as it left the mental projection. For a moment the War Doctor seemed clear, then shadow covered him again and he spoke again in his sad old voice. "Now I must return." He spun round and walked from sight, always unclear.
"Come back!" shouted the Dark Doctor desperately. "We can be the Doctor!"
"Hello there bad me!" said the Doctor Norine knew. He stood there, flanked by all the Doctors, who faced the Dark One.
It looked at them in horror. "No! You can't!" It appealed to a man with curly blonde hair and colourful clothing. "You were so close to me!"
"Yes. I seem to remember you trying to execute me!" he was told. "I came close to you, especially at the start. But I got further away! So get back to your cell!"
"But you were so much closer to me!" said the Dark One to the Magician. "You just weren't as open about it!"
The Magician looked sad. "Perhaps I was. But at least I knew this." "Stop giving the lectures! Back to your cell!" shouted the Northern Doctor. He seized the Dark One and began to drag him back towards his cell, assisted by the Doctor in frills.
"No!" it cried as it was chained again. "You cannot destroy me!" The doors to the cell stood open to receive it, like a mouth. "One day I will be free. Then all of you beware!" It was hurled inside with a scream. All the Doctors slammed and bolted the doors. There was a roar and the doors shook, but the Doctors held them closed and they remained standing.
"Time to go Norine!" said her Doctor. "Come along!"
All the Doctors waved as she and the last Doctor walked to the edge of his mind. "Well done young girl..." "Would you like a jelly baby?" "You certainly have a brave heart..." "Not bad I suppose. Could have been much worse..." "Absolutely fantastic!"
Suddenly Norine was in front of the TARDIS again. The mental realm was barely there. "Norine! Could you get me out of this thing?" said the Doctor, in his young body, bow tie and tweed jacket. She ran over and helped him out of the device. The final vestiges of the village and the smiling Doctors faded away.
"All of those are you?" she said.
"Yes" said the Doctor. "Little trick the Time Lords have. Regeneration!" said the Doctor. "Whole body changes, mind changes, fashion sense changes. They look different but they are all a part of me. Even the dark part of the mind. I wouldn't exist without all of them."
"So all that is in your mind?" said Norine.
"Still there" said the Doctor. "We all have darkness in our minds. I just have more."
"And the guy who always seemed to be in shadow?"
The Doctor looked grim. "We all have secrets. And over a thousand or so years I've gained a lot more then most."
"But who was he?"
"Guilt" replied the Doctor. "Someone I never want to see again."
He opened the TARDIS doors with a snap of his fingers. "Really can't stay here any more" he said. "Can we leave? Places to see, people to meet. Have you ever been to Valinor? Glass moons of Socho? Or if you want somewhere closer to home there's the Perelandra Palace?"
Norine entered the TARDIS while the Doctor. A thought struck her as the Doctor ran up to the console and began the dematerialisation. "What about the War-Feeder? It is still around."
"It's somewhere" said the Doctor. "But it won"t find it so easy to enter the mind next time!"
The world was deserted, the machinery in ruins. But as it lay there a figure appeared, a man in colourful clothing, an old man. He smiled and raised his hand. "Time for a game Magician."