Back to the Doctor
Zombie in Z Minor Part 7
"It's okay," Marty felt himself say. If anyone had asked him how his life had gotten to this point in time he wouldn't have known what to say, and yet he had the audacity to pretend that he knew where Wolfgang's life was going.
Wolfgang just looked at him with his wide blue eyes, stumbling back slightly.
"Just relax. Sit down," the Doctor practically commanded, guiding Wolfgang to a seat. He kneeled down to look at the zombie bite. He ripped open Wolfgang's trousers and the menacing mark glared back at him as blood oozed out.
"Oh god, it's deep," Wolfgang hissed.
"Not very – it doesn't matter. We just don't want the infection to spread quickly, so keep your heart-rate down."
"Doc, you said you needed a sample, now go make a cure," Marty had finally gotten over his shock and walked over to them.
"Yes, because it's just that simple," the Doctor looked at Marty in exasperation.
"It isn't?" Wolfgang asked in a small, scared voice.
"Doc… This is Mozart."
"You say that like it means something," Wolfgang laughed nervously.
The Doctor stood up; he grabbed Marty by the sleeve and pulled him over to the other side of the consol, whispering sharply in his ear. "I don't know how long the gestation period is. I don't know how long it will take to make a cure. Most importantly, I don't even know if I can make a cure."
"What are you saying?"
"Keep him distracted, but more importantly: keep him calm."
Then with his sample he took off to another room to – hopefully – create a cure. Marty remained standing there for a second, not entirely sure what to do.
"Are you still there?" Wolfgang called out.
"Yes," Marty squeaked, then cleared his throat. "Yeah, I'm here."
He walked back to the young Wolfgang, who couldn't have been much older than himself.
"Where's the Doctor gone?"
"He's going to make a cure. It's going to be all right."
"You don't look convinced."
Marty almost said: "Neither did the Doctor," but he held his tongue.
"I can't say I get much of this science stuff, but the Doctor does. If anyone can find a cure for science, it's him."
"I- I have to ask. The way you were speaking before… the fact that you knew my name. You said you were time travellers. Do you…? I mean, in the future…"
"It's probably best if you don't know too much about your future."
"But if you know me, it means I can't die here. It means I still have a future."
"Time doesn't work like that. When you go back, it changes things. We've changed things – really changed things."
Wolfgang smiled. "I never even thought time travel could be possible. What it must be like to spend each day in a different century…"
"A little disorienting… obviously."
"Why do it?"
Marty looked back towards the consol. "I can only speak for myself, but I need to save the people I love. I would give anything in the world to be back in my own time, going to school, playing my music… but I can't, not until we're finished."
"You're a musician?" Wolfgang was trying to smile, but his face looked suddenly pained and pale. Marty noticed he was beginning to sweat. A fever was taking hold. He was getting worse – fast.
"I want to be."
"I didn't realize we have anything in common."
"We don't. I mean our music is pretty different."
"What is my music like?"
"Uh… well you wrote it."
"I mean, the things I haven't written yet."
Marty wracked his brain trying to think of a composition by Mozart. It wasn't exactly his area of expertise when it came to music.
"Then-" he winced in pain again, "tell me about your music."
Marty kicked over the amp he had found in the TARDIS, smiling awkwardly at Wolfgang, who lay on his side now. His eyes were hardly able to focus on anything, and as his fever got worse he had started shaking slightly.
"I'm not entirely sure what you'll think of this," Marty hesitated as he plugged in his electric guitar, one of the few things he had grabbed from his car before taking off. He had never thought he'd actually need it, but he had been in such a daze he had just grabbed it. Somehow it had felt wrong to leave it behind. "This is a guitar."
"Yes, I know."
"Ah, guess they had these back then. Well, you didn't have one like this," he turned up the volume knob on the guitar and an electric hum filled the TARDIS.
He hit the first chord and the look of pain melted away from Wolfgang's face, replaced by one of sheer confusion. He wasn't entirely sure what song would impress one of the greatest composers of all time, but he was fairly certain a Huey Lewis and the News song might do the trick.
Wolfgang watched on, half dazed but unable to look away. He was dizzy and his leg felt like it was on fire, but for a few minutes all he could focus on was this young man jumping around, churning out music – if you could call it music – he could have never imagined in a hundred years.
It took a moment for Wolfgang to realize Marty had finished as the feedback continued to reverberate around the TARDIS, but as he looked expectantly at the composer Wolfgang finally smiled.
"That was… different… Does all music sounds like that in your time?"
"Well, the good stuff does."
"Oh…" He was suddenly hit by a wave of nausea and had to lay his head down. "You know, I'm not certain I feel so good."
Marty quickly took off the guitar and threw it down, the strings scratched against floor, but Marty didn't care. Wolfgang looked like he was going into shock.
"Are you all right? Are you in pain?"
"Don't let me die," Wolfgang desperately grabbed onto Marty's arm.
"I'll go get the Doctor. We're not going to let you die!" He ran out of the consol room and found the Doctor down the hall tucked away behind some incomprehensible computer screens.
"Doc! Tell me you're getting close."
"No. And what was that god awful noise just now?"
"Okay, my guitar's a little out of tune, drop it. Mozart ain't doing so good."
"What?" The Doctor looked up. "How's he doing?"
"He got bit by a zombie, how do you think he's doing? What have you got?"
"I'm not certain. I'm making headway, but without a test I can't be sure."
"We don't have time for a test!"
The Doctor grabbed a needle and extracted a clear green liquid from a test tube and ran out of the room with Marty right behind him. They entered the consol room and went stopped in shock.
"Hold this," the Doctor handed Marty a needle full of green liquid.
Wolfgang's eyes were open, but blank, staring up at the ceiling, and he was completely still…
"Oh my god," Marty whispered.
The Doctor ran to his side, checking his airway.
"He's not breathing."
The Doctor started doing CPR compressions on his chest.
"Don't give him mouth to mouth, you might get infected-"
"Shut up and get ready."
"Ready for what?"
The Doctor gave him mouth to mouth and then returned to the compressions. "You need to inject that into his heart."
Wolfgang suddenly gasped and the Doctor held him down by the shoulders. "NOW!"
Marty hesitated a moment, then jabbed the needle into Wolfgang's chest.
Wolfgang screamed, his eyes focusing on the needle sticking out of his chest. "What is that!"
Marty let go and stepped back with a triumphant smile on his face. "Oh thank god, he's not a zombie!"
"We don't know if it's worked yet," the Doctor pulled out the needle, causing Wolfgang to scream again. "I'll need a blood sample. Hold him down."
"A what!" Wolfgang tried to struggle, but he was too weak. "What are you doing?"
"We're kinda fighting against time here. Don't make us fight against you too," Marty meekly explained, holding him down as the Doctor pulled up his sleeve.
"I thought you were time travellers!"
The Doctor stuck another needle into Wolfgang's vein and extracted a blood sample, then immediately ran back to the computers Marty had found him behind before.
Marty left go of Wolfgang and he rolled onto his side, moaning slightly.
"What did you just do to me?" His voice was hoarse.
"Saved your life… I hope."
The Doctor scanned the blood sample in anticipation. He knew if it came up positive that would be it. If the radiation were still present, he wouldn't have enough time to make a second antidote.
Marty walked into the room behind him.
"Give it a minute."
"Hey, you're the one always reminding me that there's a time machine. Time shouldn't be an issue… right?"
The Doctor just looked up at him, not saying a word, but Marty understood. The timeline was messed up enough without them going back and messing it up further.
Suddenly the computer flashed red, then blue, and the Doctor smiled up at Marty.
"I think we're going to get to hear Mozart's requiem again after all."
Wolfgang stood in the doorway of the TARDIS, looking rather uncertain.
"Is it really safe out there?" He turned to the Doctor.
"Well, for you it will be. We've still got a little-"
"A lot," Marty interjected, holding onto his cricket bat.
"A bit, to clean up."
"I can stay and help."
"You're recovering from radiation poisoning. I know you don't know what that means, but trust me: you need rest. Besides, they may not be able to infect you again, but they can still, well…"
"Eat you," Marty smiled awkwardly.
"I just…" He looked back outside, his voice sounded distant. "My mind is just buzzing – with all of this. I don't know if I can go back. My friends… my whole world… It's all gone."
"It's still out there," the Doctor put his hand on Wolfgang's shoulder. "It may look different, but trust me, it's still there and it needs you. The music you write will touch millions."
"Will I really be remembered?" He looked at Marty.
"Hey, I don't even like classical music and I know who you are. Just, ah, you might want to avoid some guy named Salieri."
"I'll, uh, be sure to keep that in mind."
"You won't need it, but good luck."
"Thank you, for saving my life, that is."
"Anytime Mozart, anytime."
The composer took a deep breath and stepped out of the TARDIS. He still felt shaky and the December cold pierced his skin, but he knew there was no going back.
To Be Continued in Episode Five: Hello Sweetie
(Getting this chapter done while travelling was a lot harder than I thought it would be, a lot of that is because the outline for this chapter became problematic. How does one write about one guy playing music and one guy working in a lab and one guy being half conscious while keeping it interesting? All of these things work visually, but not necessarily in text. So I hope I did well with the media – and time – at my disposal. Also, the mood of this chapter is a bit of a 180 from the last one, so hopefully you guys didn't hate that…)