Name: The Deviant Strain
Writer: Justin Richards
Fanhome: Doctor Who
Characters: 9th Doctor, Rose
The day he died was the best of Pavel’s life.
They had agreed to meet on the cliffs, between the wood and the
Stone circle. It was bitterly cold and his feet crunched into the frosted
The full moon reflected off the white ground, casting double shadows
Eerily across the landscape. Behind him, the brittle, leafless trees
Clawed up towards the cloudless sky. Ahead of him, the icy stones
Glinted and shone as if studded with stars.
And beside him, holding Pavel’s hand, was Valeria. He hardly dared
To look at her in case the dream faded. It had to be a dream, didn’t it?
The two of them, alone, together, at last.
He did look at her. Couldn’t stop himself. Lost himself in her wide,
Beautiful smile. Watched her ice-blonde hair blown back from her
Perfect smooth-skinned face. Felt himself falling into sky-blue eyes. A
Dream. . .
Her eyes widened, smile twisting into a shout, then a scream.
Darkness wrapped round them both. A sudden glimpse of the
Shadowy figures shuffling towards them from the wood. Then hands
Clamped over their mouths – bony, dry hands as if the trees themselves
Were grabbing at them.
The world turned as the two of them were dragged off their feet,
Twisted, carried shouting for help. Pavel’s hand was snatched away
From Valeria’s. The last time he saw the girl’s terrified face was as she
Clawed back at him, desperate to make contact again, desperate for
A dark, robed figure stepped between them, blotting out his view.
A black hood covered the head, face in shadow with the moon behind
Like a cold halo. The figure turned towards Valeria.
The last thing Pavel saw was the blackness of another
The last thing he heard was Valeria’s scream. Terror and horror and
Disbelief. As she saw beneath the hood.
The TARDIS froze for an infinitesimal moment, caught between the
Swirling colours of the vortex. Then it flung itself forwards, sideways
And backwards through infinity.
Despite the battering the outside shell of the TARDIS was taking, inside
Was quiet and calm. The central column of the main console was
Doing what it was supposed to do; all the right lights were flashing;
Captain Jack Harkness was whistling and all was well. Jack paused
Mid-whistle to press a button that really didn’t need pressing, then
Resumed his rather florid rendition of ‘Pack up Your Troubles. . . ‘
The warning bleep was so perfectly in time with the beat that he
Didn’t even notice it until he was halfway through the next chorus.
‘Smile, smile, smile. . . ‘
Bleep, bleep, bleep.
Then he was all action. At the console, checking the scanner and
Scrolling down the mass of information. Not a lot of it made sense,
But he nodded knowingly just in case the Doctor or Rose came in.
‘A warning?’ He checked another readout. ‘Cry for help. . . ‘
Grinned. ‘Damsel in distress, maybe.’ Probably best not to touch anything.
Probably best to wait for the Doctor.
Then again: ‘What the hell. . . ‘
The Doctor arrived at a run, Rose in his wake. He was stern, she
‘What’s the fuss?’ Rose asked.
‘Just a distress call,’ Jack told her, moving aside as the Doctor’s elbow
Connected with his stomach. ‘Nothing much. Happens all the
Time on the high frontier.’
‘Not like this,’ the Doctor told him, not looking up from the scanner.
‘This is serious stuff.’