Let me tell you...Midnight scared the ramen out of me. The Doctor hasn't been so close to death since 42! He doesn't get into such life-threatening danger so often...and when he does, oh man does it freak me out. I mean...he's the Doctor!

I thought the scene and the end was particularly effective, when he was just laying there on the floor after the Hostess sacrificed herself to take out Sky. This takes place just after that occurs, when everyone's just picking themselves up, but before the rescue busses arrive.

Enjoy.


"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone…"

Slowly, numbly, the crewmembers arose from the depths of shock. They got steadily to their feet, seeking reassurance.

They sought it from loved ones. Val and Biff held each other close and murmured words of comfort to one another.

They sought it in familiar ideas and habits. Professor Hobbes immediately set to work making a play of examining the door that had claimed the Hostess and Sky, talking at length about potential damages that might have been done.

They sought it in the simple presence of solidity. Jethro clung to the back of his chair, gasping for breath.

They sought it in hope. Dee Dee checked her watch and announced in a trembling voice: "T-Ten minutes, everyone."

"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone…"

The Doctor had nothing to cling to, nothing to draw hope or reassurance from. He lay boneless on the floor, waiting as feeling crept back into his body. Waiting as the afterimages of fear receded from his mind. He was so tired and so scared and so wary of all around him. His mind had shut down, ravaged and blank from the creature's onslaught.

All he could do to bring himself back to earth was chant:

"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone…"

It was his mantra and his lifeline. It was his voice he was murmuring with. There were no echoes. But he chanted as though the monster had died with his voice, and left him only those two words.

"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone…"

Eventually, he pulled himself along the floor towards the very back. He crawled into a corner and curled up there, enclosed and safe and hidden.

He stayed, listening to the sound of his own breathing, until he heard Val speak timorously.

"I…I always said it was her."

She was looking around the cabin. Perhaps looking for agreement, or support. Perhaps she'd only wanted to bring the fragmented, broken group together as they had been when they'd been clamoring for death.

The Doctor did not have the will to argue. He only scowled at her, and saw out of the corner of his eye that he was not the only one. Val lapsed into tense, fearful silence.

The Doctor stayed in his corner. He no longer chanted the mantra out loud, but it continued to ring through his head, a long unbroken stream that kept him conscious and sane.

"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone…"

He would be the first and last to admit that he had faith in the human race. For all their faults and their weaknesses and mistakes, he had faith in the fact that they were a basically good, smart, wonderful brilliant species.

His human appearance meant that he was typically safe in such matters. It had been a long, long time since he had run into a situation where humans had started turning on each other.

So, for the first time in a very long time, his faith was shaken.

His fellow cabin mates had done so. It had been a very, very long time since he'd encountered human nature on such a fierce, cruel, animal level.

It had been even longer since he'd been on the receiving end of it. And the nearness of his escape had scared him. The sheer adrenaline that normally accompanied such close escapes had been replaced by numb, leaden fear.

It had been a long time since that had happened, too.

It had been a very long time since he'd shaken so badly.

He was paid no attention to. He got the feeling that they did not want to remember him. He was a reminder of the terrible events of a few moments ago. Perhaps they thought that if he'd disappear, none of this would have happened.

He was content to hide. If he hid, they could not see that he still trembled like a frightened rabbit amidst a pack of dogs.

They could not see his fear.

"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone…it's gone, it's gone, it's gone…"