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Dressed To Kill

Steed's Tale - "Dressed To Kill" - Chapter 11

Journal of Prince "Major" Jonathan Steed of Amber:
Based on a Scenario by Rain Donaldson
Written by: R. Cal Westray, Jr. in 1997-1998.
Steed's history was written in 1994.

"Extraordinary crimes against the people and the state,
need to be avenged by agents extraordinary..."


Bar
Episode A4-11 - Who Was That Ghost I Saw You With?

In which Steed finds Ghosts in Shadow
... and Emma shadows a Ghost

The Doctor was hard at work on the TARDIS computer. He calls into the dressing area. "Someone has been altering the TARDIS's programming. Steed are you decent?"
"Certainly, Doctor. While I was dressing, I came up with another idea, hopefully better than my last one. What if I 'edit' the Shadow within the TARDIS to attract the bugs to us; for them to try to free their captured comrades?" I even feel confident in the plan, now that I'm properly dressed again.
He gives it some thought, while doing repair work on K9. He is replacing parts instead of repairing the damaged parts. It seems to go rather quickly. He puts down his tools. "Operational, K9?"
A mechanical voice responds from the robot's front speaker. "Yes, Doctor."
"Excellent! What happened?"
K9. "Something crawled into me."
"I hate when that happens."
I can only imagine, but I'd rather not.
"K9, we discovered the mechanical bugs. I'm not entirely certain who sent them. I have my suspicions. Steed, that wasn't a bad idea."
"Thank you Doctor. We can use the stasis jars to capture them as they approach us."
"We have caught around a dozen or two; by my rough estimate, around ninety-six were made."
"We also don't know how many left the TARDIS. After we capture them here, we should be able to repeat the process outside." I want to eliminate the ones that interrupted our tea.
"Let's get more stasis jars." The Doctor leads us to the storage cabinets where he retrieves the others. On the way, we encounter Ace and Emma. Ace is sporting a baseball bat. "Ace, I prefer they were captured intact."
"Well, they're intact; just flatter."
"All right. Here, take a jar." He hands them out. "We are going to try Steed's idea."
Emma looks at me and tilts her head, eyeing me skeptically. "Steed, is that a different suit?"
"I ran into a spot of bad luck, I had to sacrifice my old suit. Rather embarrassing, I'm afraid. The Doctor was kind enough to provide a replacement. He has a wondrous selection."
The Doctor also hands out some umbrellas. "In case they drop from the ceiling."
"Good idea." I take off the umbrella cover and pocket it, good covers are hard to find.
Ace. "Isn't it bad luck to open an umbrella indoors?"
Doctor. "Yes, Ace. Ready, Steed?"
"Ready, Doctor." I focus my mind on summoning the Sign of the Pattern. It comes to mind rather quickly. In fact 'all' the Patterns I have walked, are coming to mind. That has never happened before and it is quite troubling, controlling such power would not be possible. Usually the Pattern that comes to my mind is the Pattern from Castle Amber or the Primal Pattern; they spiral clockwise. Also, the Patterns from Rebma and Tir-na Nog'th are before me; they spiral anti-clockwise. To add to the confusion is the Pattern from the Jewel of Judgment; floating three dimensionally before me. The combination of images float before me, seemingly all wanting to be utilized. I've only used one at a time before.
The Doctor notices my hesitation. "I say, old chap. Are you ready?"
"I think so. I'm trying to decide which Pattern to use. They are all floating before me."
Doctor. "You mean you have to choose which one?"
"Usually only one comes to mind. But now... yes, I should select one."
Doctor. "I thought those squiggles were all alike."
"No. Some run clockwise, some run anti-clockwise, and the jewel's three dimensional."
"Since we are in a time machine, choose an anti-clockwise Pattern."
A good reason as any. I screen out the others and keep the Rebma Pattern in mind. "The Rebma Pattern it is." I concentrate upon staying 'precisely' where I am - no teleporting. I extend my awareness to the edges of the TARDIS and no further.
Doctor. "Umbrella's up!" Ace and Emma look at the ceiling and open their umbrella.
I continue to focus upon the Rebma Pattern. I am curious why the Patterns came to me so quickly. Since I talked to Dworkin and learned to teleport, the Pattern has been much easier to summon. I suppose there is a connection. I will ask Dworkin about it, the first chance I get.
I continue to be committed to staying put, no sneaking about to another place. Focus on the Rebma Pattern, forcing my will upon the Shadow I am in; the TARDIS. I manipulate the probabilities within the TARDIS that the bugs will return to the point of their creation, within the TARDIS, to determine what happened to their captured companions; and attempt to rescue them. This should make it easier to capture them. As I will this, I can sense it beginning to work. We wait in the computer room, prepare the stasis jars, and watch for the return of the bugs.
K9. "Doctor, the TARDIS is moving."
He's right. The engines are starting and I hear the familiar sounds of the de-materialization and re-materialization. But where and how? The Doctor didn't do this, neither did I. "Doctor, I didn't do this. I wouldn't know how to."
"I'll reserve judgment on that, Steed."
Ace and the Doctor go to the control room with their umbrellas up. Emma and I stay in the computer room and capture the emerging bugs. I retain control of the probabilities within the TARDIS. Emma and I capture a host of bugs in the stasis jars, until Ace returns with gas masks. We are instructed to put them on quickly; Doctor's orders. He arrives soon.
A quick explanation by the Doctor is that organic bugs that were created by the food synthesizers are now loose in large numbers in the TARDIS. An alkaline chemical is needed to counter the acidic characteristic of the new bugs. We now have organic bugs devouring organic material and mechanical bugs devouring non-organic material. A deadly combination directed at the TARDIS by some unknown diabolical mastermind. The Doctor was trying to determine which chemical to release into the air supply of the TARDIS, the reason for the gas masks.
Ace. "We could use Rhodium Dioxide, Doctor. It's only 'slightly' explosive."
Doctor. "True, it's only... wait, let's try something less harmful to inanimate objects."
Ace. "There's Deuterium Monoxide."
Emma looks at me and shrugs. She hasn't heard of these chemicals.
Doctor. "All right. Let's not use any matches, then. That should work. We will just have to wash off thoroughly afterward. Everyone double check your masks, make sure they are working properly; we don't want any leaky seals. Ready?"
I work on the probabilities that our masks are working 'perfectly'. Just to be on the safe side.
The Doctor manipulates some controls to flood the ventilation system with the alkaline gas. The gas should be doing its work to eliminate the organic bugs. To the Doctor's surprise, there are sealed off areas that the gas is not reaching. Somehow the areas are being sealed off by filling in the cracks with 'something'; which happens to be re-processed organic matter. Clever bugs.
We still capture more of the mechanical bugs, while waiting for the gas to work on the organic bugs. We keep the umbrellas up and catch them before they try to burn through the gas masks.
The Doctor scans for concentrations of organic matter, using a device that looks like a stud finder. We move in the direction that the device indicates. We move toward an area that the Doctor tells us is the hive. I don't like the sound of that. Not at all.
We soon reach a room that contains a huge cocoon. The Doctor calls out. "Everyone stand back. There seems to be a humanoid form within the cocoon. So 'this' is where you got to."
I don't know who that last comment was for. We capture more mechanical bugs. The gas kills off more of the organic bugs. I focus upon keeping the masks in perfect working order.
Ace. "Well, Doctor, what do we do with this cocoon?"
"Normally, I'd cut these rooms off and eject them from the TARDIS. But we are on Galifrey and I don't know who is in charge of the bugs."
So 'that's' where the TARDIS went, back to the Doctor's home world. But how?
Ace. "Doctor, this hole looks like it goes all the way into the cocoon. I have a little vial of something. Oops. Doctor, I seem to have lost my grip on it." It falls into the hole to the cocoon.
Doctor. "Everyone! Out! Quick! Ace, the poison gas may kill off what's inside most likely."
"Sorry, Doctor."
We run out of the room and down the hall. I guess that Ace used her deadly Nitro-9 again. I hear a tremendous explosion and the TARDIS shakes violently; just before it pulls another fading act. "No!" I lost control of my teleporting again! Where am I going now?
I am materializing 'somewhere', again. After losing control, again. This is getting tedious. No apparent threat, like the 'bug's' Shadow. This 'is' a bleak place that I would never have considered to visit intentionally. A Shadow in the middle of nowhere. My curiosity is aroused and there is no hurry to get back to the TARDIS - yet.
I call out. "I don't think I'm in the TARDIS anymore, K9." My voice doesn't echo, it just falls flat. Not even the volume or resonance I expected. No answer, either.
Wherever I am, it could use a splash of color. Everything is black, white, or some shade of gray. The sun is shining black in the sky, almost blinding with it's anti-brilliance. The sky is dark gray with black clouds. The barren ground below is white and light gray. I've developed enough of my own film to recognize the similarity to a photographic negative. I look at my hands. At least I'm unchanged.
I am standing on a path that leads up to the hills in one direction and to a desert in the other. Scrub and dead looking vegetation is off on the sides of the path. A decision seems to be in order. I think I will take the path into the hills. I may get a better view of this place from a higher vantage point. Also, I'm not fond of the desert; at least on foot. I prefer deserts on horseback, actually I prefer travel on horseback.
I tap my umbrella on the ground, barely a sound, then begin my brisk walk to the hills. There seems to be a chill in the air. Odd for being near a desert.
After a short walk, I encounter a wheat field. Not even a breeze to make the wheat sway. This 'is' a horribly drab place. Only one feature is out standing in the field, pardon my pun. A scarecrow is hanging on a pole. My curiosity is peaked, I move closer to see the scarecrow. It appears to be black on one side and white on the other, wearing a white eye-patch.
The face is familiar. I have never seen him in person, but I've seen him every time I go through my Trump deck. Which, unfortunately, has been some time ago. He appears to be breathing. I move in closer to be certain, it 'is' my Uncle Brand - the traitor of Amber.
Time to be wary, but 'don't' give away any hints of my previous feelings toward him. This may be only a Shadow of him and 'maybe' I am to learn something from him.
He sees me. "Pardon me, could you get me down?"
"Have we met before?" I ask, to see if he knows me.
"I don't think so. If you would be so kind to let me down, we could have a proper introduction."
I move in closer; with my silver knife, I cut his bonds. "Uncle Brand. How did you manage to get here?"
"The last thing I remember is talking to Corwin's boy, Merlin. We had a nice chat."
"When did you see him?"
"I don't know, time flows differently here. Thank you for getting me down..." He waits for my name.
"Steed. Certainly. Do you have any idea where we are?"
"This is the Undershadow."
"Nice name for a bleak place. What purpose does this place serve?"
"It's just another Shadow. By the way, I have a small request and we can continue our chat. Could you perhaps spare a little blood, nephew?" His eyes light up, or perhaps they darken.
"Oh, you're a Ghost. I once did a stint as a Ghost myself." He needs the blood of an Amberite to sustain his existence. I will help him, like Corwin once did for me. "I suppose I could spare a bit. It would be a pity to lose the company of a relative." I use the point of the silver knife and nick my wrist, until the blood flows. Just a bit more painful than donating blood; I don't have a proper syringe, Anna has it. I pull out a handkerchief and hold out my wrist. He puts my wrist to his mouth and sucks at it. He appears to become more substantial as he feeds.
Soon, I withdraw and use the handkerchief to bandage the cut. I gave him enough that wouldn't cause me any weakness.
He nods a silent thanks. He even appears to be more at ease, I think he must have been near the end of his existence. He continues his explanation. "Shadows, you know about. Have you ever wondered what is 'between' Shadows?"
"I was aware of the area between Trumps, but not Shadows." Oops, too much information. "How does one get 'out' of the Undershadow?"
"Well, that's a good question. Merlin was here and he got out. But, I wasn't around when he left; so, I don't know how he did it."
We walk along the path. "Well, I wouldn't expect to find anything simple, like an exit sign in this dismal place." We walk around a bend in the path. There is a wall with a sign and an arrow. The sign is labeled 'EXIT'. "I should have known."
Brand smiles. "You have to be careful here. Exit may mean any number of things, even the end of everything. Be careful what you wish for."
"I'll do that." Too late for that, way too late. "What was your last memory before coming to the Undershadow?"
"Actually my memories are a little vague." He is not telling me the truth, at least his answers are a little vague too.
We continue our walk in the direction the exit sign indicates, staying on the path. Brand is, at least, not hampering my progress. I would guess that he wants out of here as much as I do. I suppose I could teleport out, but I would rather find out 'why' I am here. I can only guess there is a hidden agenda, I didn't come here by choice. Brand was also sent here for a reason. A Pattern Ghost to meet me here? Why? Will there be others? Is this a Shadow of Oz? The scarecrow with a brain? What's next, a brave lion or a tin man with a heart?
We continue our walk along the gray gravel road. We are approached by a figure that may qualify as a brave lion. He's a shape changer anyway. He assailed the Logrus, not long ago, but his little girl friend isn't with him. Could he be a Logrus Ghost?
"How are you doing, Steed? I didn't expect to find you here."
"Good day, Suehprom. Where do you think we are?" I get a good grip on my brolly, and rub my chin. It gives me a reason to have my left hand near the bowler or my silver dagger.
"We're right here. I followed you here, an easy trick."
A lie. He doesn't behave like someone who had a reason to follow me, at least for any reason that benefits me. His girl friend also wouldn't have let him wander off alone. I have an idea. "Suehprom, this is my Uncle Brand. Brand, this is Suehprom."
"Pleased to meet you." They shake hands. He knows Brand's history and he isn't going on like he did with the Doctor being the Master. Suehprom, oh Suehprom, what is your game? At least they didn't explode when they shook hands; I almost expected it to happen. Pattern Ghost meets Logrus Ghost.
He turns to me. "Steed, what are you doing here?"
"I was with the Doctor. We were exterminating some bugs and I teleported here accidentally."
"Teleported?" He looks surprised that I can teleport, although he knew I was having difficulty with teleporting when we were in Amber. If his memories were from taking the Logrus, it would be 'before' my difficulties. It is quite definitely 'not' the Suehprom I saw last.
"Wherever we are going, lead the way. By the way, have you got teleporting under control?" He's guessing.
"I'm putting it off for now. The plan is to follow the path to see what happens next." I twirl the umbrella as though I am preparing to walk. This gets the umbrella ready for a parry, instincts kicked in as Suehprom withdraws a sword and tries for a decapitation slice. My brolly deflects it neatly, but damages the mechanism that covers my blade. "The subtle approach, Suehprom?" I move into a more defensive position, observing every detail of Suehprom's fighting style.
Brand steps out of the way. He appears to be weaponless and I doubt he has a real interest in protecting me. If I die, there will be ample blood for his continued existence. Quite neat, by staying out of it he 'can't' lose.
Suehprom pulls his cloak around his front, not for defense, but to use as an offensive weapon. Sword in the right hand, cloak in the left. The cloak appears to be mobile as well, tricky. If I remember correctly, the cloak once protected him from mental attack from Kat. It also 'devoured' items when we were in the Village. I wonder what else it can do.
I flick away the damaged brolly, exposing the blade. I keep my eyes peeled for an opening to use the bowler or silver dagger. First to use the bowler for a leg shot, to draw first blood if possible. At the very least, to distract him; so I can charge him with my blade. I get so little practice these days.
Suehprom swings with the blade from his right side and whips his cloak from his left; it reaches out like a black tentacle. I parry his blade with the forte of mine and throw the bowler at his exposed right leg, hard. With my arm now free, I do a forward shoulder roll, under his cloak to get past his left side.
Suehprom is better than I expected. I barely parried his blade and avoided his cloak; it was closer than I like. I managed to cut a gash in his right leg, flames spout from the gash. As I roll, the flames from his cut leg singe my shoulder; damaging the jacket. He fans his cloak back toward me like a net.
I follow through my roll, tuck in a leg, and extend my blade; in order to roll to my feet with an upper cut aimed at the cloak. I manage to cut it nicely, but it bleeds on me. It is slightly acidic, so I sustain another burn on my shoulder. Completing my roll to my feet, I encounter a bluish wall. Blue wall, in this place?
I turn with my back against the wall, the cloak is coming at me. I point my blade, to hold off the cloak. I have a few seconds before Suehprom resumes his attack, the roll bought me the extra seconds I needed. I edge along the wall and a door pushes me away. Door? I get around the corner of the wall, which I now realize is the TARDIS. The cavalry has arrived, the tin man with the heart. Or at least the man with the big heart, in a metal box.
I work my way around to the back and do a vertical leap onto the TARDIS. The cloak is edging it's way over the TARDIS. It will be awhile before it reaches me and covers the TARDIS.
I move into position above Suehprom. He sees me and swings upward, shifting his arms to get a longer reach. I cut downwards for a head cut. He has a longer reach and is a bit stronger. I get my silver dagger ready.
I jump off the far side of the TARDIS, opposite the door, before he can get a leg cut. Then I back away from the wall to get some room to move. Suehprom comes around the TARDIS to face me again. He swings and I parry the blade away to make an opening. It works. His face is exposed. There is an explosion from the TARDIS and the cloak is thrown away. The distraction gives me the opening I needed. I throw the dagger, hard, aiming for the midpoint between the eyes. It scores! Flames are gushing from his forehead; enough to blind him, I hope.
Now for the finish. To avoid the gushing flames I throw my sabre, like a spear, into his heart. If he could see, he could have possibly parried my throw; but he can't, so it completely impales him. Flames are now shooting from his leg, forehead, chest, and back.
That 'should' finish him, but wait! He somehow pulls my sabre out of his chest and charges me; now with two swords. This Ghost is tougher to kill than I thought. I back away, slowly.
People are piling out of the TARDIS. I call out. "Mind the flames!"
Beyond Suehprom, I hear. "Watch out!" He ducks and rolls in my direction. Emma is running in my direction. What would 'she' do? Kick high? I aim a bit lower; a boot to the head, to drive the dagger deeper into his forehead. He falls backward.
She yells. "Jump!" I do. She kicks and adds velocity to his movement - past me.
Doctor. "You may want to get back here, while he is away from the TARDIS!"
Preferring the better part of valor, we dash back to the TARDIS. I hear the whistle of a thrown blade. The Doctor leaps behind us. He's not...!
I turn and see my blade stop, inches from the Doctor, bouncing off an invisible field. Surprised - he looks down, leans over, and picks it up.
"Here's your sword."
"Thank you Doctor. Bravely done." We enter the TARDIS.
Doctor. "Steed, do you have a 'pressing' need to be here?"
"Not at all, why?" I look around; Emma, Doctor, Ace, and... Dworkin? The wizard himself!
Doctor. "Dworkin, old chap. Could you use the TARDIS to get us back to reality?"
Dworkin. "Sounds good. How?"
There is a knock at the door. On the view screen I see Brand, still half-black and half-white. No sign of Suehprom.
The Doctor opens the door. "Yes?"
Brand smiles. "The other guy's gone. May I come in?"
Doctor. "I don't have a problem with that. Anyone else?" No answer, he opens the door. Brand enters.
"Doctor, remember that little stint I did as a Pattern Ghost? My little drinking problem?"
Doctor. "Oh yes. When you were drinking blood?"
"Yes, this is my Uncle Brand. Currently in a similar state."
Doctor. "Hello. I don't suppose you'd care for some cider."
Brand. "No, that's not what I'm drinking these days."
Doctor. "Well, where exactly are we? By the way, aren't you the same Brand that tried to remake the universe?"
Brand. "Well, as I understand things, I'm actually just a Pattern Ghost."
Doctor. "You're not trying to do it again, are you?"
Brand. "I never actually 'did' it the first time. So, I couldn't do it 'again'." Semantics.
Doctor. "All right. Just don't try it. It never works out."
Brand. "Oh, you have experience in that sort of thing?"
Doctor. "Not exactly. We've saved the universe a couple of times. We've never tried to conquer or alter it in any significant way. Now, where are we?"
Brand. "We are inside a blue box, which is much larger inside than outside."
Doctor. "What's 'outside'?"
Brand. "The Undershadow."
Doctor. "The Undershadow?"
Brand. "You understand Shadows? This is what's 'between' them."
Doctor. "Sort of a hallway between Shadows. So we just have to move down the hallway to find the next Shadow."
Brand. "A bit harder. A hallway without any doors."
Doctor. "What happens if we 'make' a door?"
Brand. "How would you do that?"
Doctor. "I understand the Trumps don't work here. How does Pattern work, Dworkin? I mean, do you use it to move yourself through Shadow or do you shape Shadow around yourself?"
Dworkin. "Yes."
Doctor. "Oh. Could you use it to draw us back to Shadows?"
Dworkin. "Well, the problem is that activating Pattern here can be a little overpowering."
Doctor. "Does it shred this place?"
Dworkin. "No. The person who uses it."
Doctor. "Oh dear."
Oh dear, indeed! "Then it's a good thing I didn't try it then."
Doctor. "What happened out there?"
Brand. "Suehprom was a Logrus Ghost. He was sent to attack Steed."
Doctor. "I wondered why he acted strangely."
Brand. "He dissolved, shortly after bursting into flames."
Doctor. "He dissolved?" He checks his controls. "If I can find a way to follow him out."
Brand. "It's not as much as he left, his energies just dissipated into the general vicinity. There is still residual energies."
Doctor. "He had to come from somewhere."
Brand. "I don't think we want to go 'there' to that power source." To the Logrus.
Doctor. "No, but if we could find out how he got here. Wait. You have a link back to the Pattern now, don't you?"
Brand. "Well, sort of."
Doctor. "Could you please step outside? I want to see if I can scan for where the linkage is and where you were formed from."
"O.K." He steps out. I follow to recover my belongings. I tap my forehead and my bowler returns to me. I find my silver dagger and my brolly sheathe, damaged as it is. I sheathe my blade and put the brolly cover on it. At least it 'looks' whole again. Then I return to the TARDIS. Brand does as well.
Doctor. "No luck. I can't determine how to find the way back to the Pattern."
Brand. "You walk that way."
Doctor. "O.K. That will lead us out of this Shadow?"
Brand. "No, it will lead us to the Pattern."
Doctor. "Dworkin, can you get us out of here, once we find the Pattern?"
Dworkin. "I can try."
Doctor. "That seems to be our best option. Now, where is that new feature I installed?" He presses a button. "Let's go outside." We do. Nothing happened. "The wheels didn't pop out. Technology must be blocked here."
I offer. "Doctor, do you have a piano dolly?"
"Of course!" He enters the TARDIS and brings out a pair of piano dollies. I help strap them into place. The handles extend front and back. Four of us can push - pull the TARDIS down the path. We go inside the TARDIS once more before leaving.
I address the party. "I would guess that anyone else we encounter here will probably be a Pattern or Logrus Ghost; sent to hinder our progress."
Doctor. "So, they won't be the real item?"
"They may 'think' they are the genuine article. Suehprom found it necessary to attack me."
Doctor. "So we should take them with a grain of salt."
"Yes, but anything we see will be just as deadly as the real thing."
Brand. "Steed, before we go; could I trouble you for more blood?"
"I don't see why not." I hope this won't be a habit.
Brand. "Doctor. Do you have a cup?"
Doctor. "Certainly." He retrieves one from a cabinet, he hands it to me.
I remove the handkerchief and nick myself again, letting the blood flow into the cup. Once it's full, I hand it to Brand and bandage my wrist again.
Emma watches with disapproval. At least she wasn't around when I was the Ghost.
He takes the cup and drinks it greedily. Then he licks his lips. Then he pockets the cup.
My memories of being a Ghost return. I remember the taste, it was like red wine to that body I inhabited and life itself. I push it away, to the furthest reaches of memory. Emma gives me a side long glance. She looks at Brand and back to me. Her classic 'why' look.
I move closer and brush her arm, sparking contact.
:Steed, 'why' are you helping Brand?:
:My dear, being a Pattern Ghost is a horrible existence. I 'know'. I'm doing for Brand, what Corwin did for me. No more. When we reach the Pattern, maybe he can gain an independent existence, maybe not. It's just a matter of time before he fades away, like Suehprom. I don't 'think' the Pattern would have created a Ghost of someone who would try to destroy it, like the real Brand tried.:
She is skeptical.
I continue. :Ghosts 'must' to be programmed by their Powers and Brand hasn't made a move to attack me. He could have easily overpowered me mentally at any time, but hasn't. Dworkin doesn't see him as a threat and neither do I - yet. But it doesn't hurt to be cautious, in case we're both wrong. His only source of nourishment here, is myself and Dworkin. If he needs more, I'll see if Dworkin is agreeable. I won't do it again for awhile. Watch our backs, my dear:
She shakes her head. :I hope you know what you are doing.:
I smile. :So do I: We break contact.
The Doctor's attention goes to the monitor, which seems to have activated itself. I look at the monitor. It's Leonardo, Suehprom, and Smiling Jenny.
Doctor. "Steed, is that one of those Ghost things?" He turns up the volume.
Leonardo. "The exit has to be around here someplace."
The background is familiar. "Doctor, they are in the Corridor of Mirrors."
"I wonder." The Doctor taps the monitor. They see us as well.
Suehprom. "Hi, Doctor. What's up? What information do you have for us?" He thinks we are just some vision, like others found in one of those mirrors.
Doctor. "No, but I have some advice. When you move between Shadows, don't slip."
Suehprom. "Did you fall and break the Pattern?"
Doctor. "No, I don't have a squiggle. We're somewhere else, don't worry, everything's fine. Dworkin, do you need to speak to Leonardo? No? O.K. Hang on a second, I want to try something." He pulls out a yo-yo and tosses it through the view screen. It goes through, into the Corridor of Mirrors. It works! We can get out that way.
Leonardo picks it up. "What is this for?"
Doctor. "Just a test." We watch helplessly as Leonardo throws it back. "No!" The Doctor screams as the view screen shatters. He takes a few deep breaths. "That idiot!"
"Doctor, that 'was' our way out, wasn't it?" I already know.
Doctor. "Yes, I suppose it 'was' our exit." He then lets loose with a string of insults that should have reached through Shadow to incinerate Leonardo. Followed with a howl of rage and frustration, which I wholeheartedly empathize with.
Not to give up. "Well Doctor, maybe one of the other mirrors can reach us."
"Steed, he 'shattered' our view screen."
"I understand. Don't you have another control room?"
"Yes, but wait, there is another view screen under the bench. Help me get this rigged up." We open the bench and get out the view screen. We help the Doctor mount the new screen.
Then we can try it again. If that doesn't work, we can still follow the path.
Regardless, I need to have a talk with Dworkin; very soon, but 'away' from Brand. It's now my current priority.

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R. Cal Westray, Jr.
Copyright 2001 [Westray.org].
All rights reserved.
Revised: October 23, 2007 .