"Really, Jack, no matter how much I love history, there is probably nothing in that museum that will even remotely interest me."
"You have so little faith." It was always rather annoying to the Doctor when Jack would grin like that, because it meant he was up to something and that meant the Doctor would have to follow him. To make sure he didn't get into trouble of course. In this case, Jack had informed the Doctor he had found something 'really cool' to show him, in the Preternatural Research Bureaus' Museum of Paranormal History.
Which, really, sounded more like the sort of place where the Doctor would take a nap, not find 'really cool'.
"C'mon, Doctor, you're going to love it!" The young man hopped up the stairs towards the museum. From the outside, it wasn't entirely impressive. One's basic museum, with stone columns and lettering that no one but the curators knew written along the top, and the statue of a Greek goddess--- Artemis, unless the Doctor was entirely mistaken---in the courtyard. The whole neighborhood had a bit of a creepy atmosphere, but that could've easily been the oncoming thunderstorm.
Inside, the museum was high-ceilinged and poorly-lit, and the Doctor found himself even less impressed. The linoleum floors weren't waxed or even swept, and everything seemed to be in a state of disrepair. The "specimens" appeared to be wax models, labeled and hung in glass cabinets. Two vampires, dressed in typical Bela Lugosi attire, and a stringy-looking poltergeist greeted them at the front desk behind their respective glass cases.
Jack was still bouncing on his toes. "Come on, Doctor!"
"Honestly, Jack, this is the place you wanted to show me? Of all the places in London---no, scratch that, of all the places on Earth, you had to take me to this run-down..."
He padded after Jack down several long corridors, lined with unusual monsters like the Blob, some weird creature with daggers called 'the Thin White Duke', and even some sinister-looking Nannies.
Finally, in a large hall with a dusty replica of Jaws in the middle of the room, Jack stopped, pointing at one of the cabinets that circled the main display.
"Here!" he said, "Really, Doctor, you have to see this."
The Doctor rolled his eyes. Ridiculous. Absolutely---
Within stood the wax model of a very familiar looking woman. A slim, pretty brunette dressed in tribal clothes, one spear held above her head. She had a line of blue war paint streaked across her eye, and her elfish face was twisted into an unnatural scowl.
"Peri." The Doctor breathed.
"Perpugilliam of the Brown," Jack corrected, pointing at the little name plaque, "'Tribal Era, Warrior Queen to the mighty King Yrcanos. Vicious and terrible warrior who slew hundreds of thousands under the name of the Doctor'---you see why I brought you here?"
"That can't be right," the Doctor said, "She wasn't even on this planet. She wasn't even near this planet."
Jack gave a quick nod, "I did a bit of digging, and, well, considering my ways with the local librarian---you can thank me later---I was able to discover that this warrior---"
"---Yeah, right, Peri, she apparently landed to Earth in a bolt of fire, and went seeking out the one known as the Doctor. When she couldn't find him, she became enraged, and did untold damage. Then, one day, she just vanished."
The Doctor's head turned, and his eyebrow raised, "Vanished? That's it?"
"The legends say the Gods came down and smited her." Jack paused. "Smote her. Whatever, they did that to her. And no one even heard of the legend again until this wax display was set up thirty years ago. There was some investigation as to the validity of the statements by—and you're gonna love this—previous UNIT employee Dr. Elizabeth Shaw."
"Liz? My Liz thought this was a fake?"
"Didn't know we were possessive all of a sudden. But, yep. Apparently, tried to contact you. Said she knew something about it all."
"Where is she?"
"Car crash, last week," Jack said, "One of the statues fell on her car. She's fine, just hospitalized, we could probably see her tomorrow. Supposedly accidental, but considering she was trying to get a hold of you..."
He gave his head a scratch. "Right, sounds good. So. Perpugilliam Brown, all of a sudden in a wax museum for monsters. Not a place I would've expected to see her, but, then again, she went to college, too. That's most certainly not somewhere I'd expect to have seen her."
"Oh, you're kidding me."
The Doctor and Jack turned as a familiar voice piped up behind them. And, looking rather awkward and with a sort of deer-in-headlights look in his eyes, stood Mickey Smith. In a night guard's uniform that read 'PROBE Museum'.
"What are you two doing here?" he snapped, "You two always have to ruin everything, s'that it?"
The Doctor blinked, then put on a grin, "Mickey the Idiot, it's fantastic to see you, too."
"Yeah, is that all the greetings we get? Haven't seen you in a century, Mickey-boy," Jack snorted.
"No, no, guys, you have to go. You have to get out of here, all right?" Mickey's voice was decidedly panicked, and he looked over his shoulder as if something was watching them.
The Doctor took a step forward, his expression changing to one of concern, "Why, Mickey, what's happened---?"
Aaaaand, as if on cue, from one of the rooms walked a tall, leggy redhead in a business suit. She grinned a gazillawatt smile in Mickey's direction.
"Mr. Smith," she said, "First night as the night guard?"
Mickey grinned back (rather stupidly, in the Doctor's opinion). "Yes, Miss, uh, Diana. Yep. Pretty excited about the position."
"Oh, you're going to love it. All this history, it feels like it comes to life at night." She paused, glancing over at the Doctor and Jack, "Oh, sorry, gentlemen. Diana Palmer. We're actually closing up for the night. Mr. Smith will show you out." She tossed her hair aside and stepped out of the museum.
Mickey watched her go with a pathetic sort of longing that the Doctor hadn't seen him have since Rose. It was so cute, made the Doctor want to pinch his cheeks or something.
"So, you took a job as a night guard of stuff you hate so you could be around a chica, huh?" Jack said with a smirk, "Now that is dedication. I'd applaud you, but that's a bit too much effort for my taste."
The Doctor shook his head and pointed at the cabinet, "That woman, has she talked to you about the displays?"
"Wha?" Mickey, who had been staring at the door, turned back to them, "What? Oh, uh, she gave me a tour? Not much more'n that." He stepped towards the Doctor and Jack and peeked behind the glass.
"Hey, she was fighting for the Doctor!"
"Yeah, we noticed that," the Doctor said, "We need to know more about what happened, and the display. I think I should probably head back to the TARDIS."
He turned and padded back towards the door. Behind himself, he could hear Jack and Mickey.
"So, you even think you have a chance with this girl?"
"Look, Captain Innuendo, I don't kiss an' tell, all right?"
"Well, I do. And I bet she'd be one hell of a kisser. Not better than you, Doctor, don't worry!"
"You kissed the Doctor?"
Lightning cracked outside, and something moved out of the Doctor's peripheral vision. He turned his head and raised his eyebrow.
One of the cases was empty. The glass door was ajar, and there were strange footprints around it.
"Mickey," the Doctor called over his shoulder.
"Oncoming storm my arse, the man's the bloody oncoming shag. Rose, now you, too..."
"Aww, Mickey, were you pining after me?"
"I don't pine!"
"We just had a rather excellent example of pining for someone who doesn't."
"Oi, shut it, you!"
"Mickey!" the Doctor snapped.
The young man turned, but his eyes continued to stare daggers at Jack, "What?"
The Doctor pointed, "Is this supposed to be empty?"
Mickey blinked, and stepped towards the cabinet, "This is the zombie display, I just watched them build it this afternoon!"
Jack shrugged, "Maybe they moved the display somewhere else?"
"In five minutes?" Mickey said, "Cause this was up when I came in the room. I remember thinking that the fat one looked a bit like Jackie, so I was makin' faces at it."
The Doctor rolled his eyes, "Leave it to Mickey to remember a historical display by how he made fun of it."
Without warning, an outstretched arm grabbed Mickey from behind, pulling him back into the shadows behind the case. Mickey cried out, and the Doctor and Jack leaped towards him, pulling him back.
"What the hell---!"
The arms that had been grabbing Mickey were attached to dripping, slathering zombies. They growled and hissed and stumbled towards them.
The Doctor's eyes went wide as he headed backwards with his two companions, "You're right, Mickey, it does look a bit like Jackie!"
"Enough of that," Jack said, his gun already out of its holster and pointed at the approaching undead, "Were these things doing this when the display was set up?"
"Nope, no, they were just wax," Mickey said, "They were!"
"Are you sure?"
"I think I'd remember if they were doing that!" The zombies stumbled towards them at a faster rate, and Mickey made an undignified noise that sounded a bit like an eight year old on a rollercoaster.
Five more zombies stumbled from behind another cabinet, and the poltergeist from the front window zipped along the ceiling.
The Doctor nodded, "Right, when I say 'run'...Run!"
No need to tell his companions twice. They scattered, the Doctor heading down one corridor while Jack and Mickey took off down others.
The corridors seemed a good bit scarier when one was being chased by zombies and poltergeists and a very fat man in a kilt (he showed up when the Doctor passed another long and somewhat thick cabinet). He turned down another, and another, but only seemed to gain creatures rather than lose them.
"Doctor!" a familiar female voice screamed to him from within a locked cabinet.
Within a cabinet, banging on it for dear life, stood his beloved companion. She looked positively terrified.
"Doctor, please, help me! Let me out!"
The Doctor nodded, and pulled out his screwdriver, aiming it at the many locks on the cabinet. He didn't know how she'd gotten in there but if she was---
His eyes flicked to the plaque on the cabinet and he froze. Polymorph. Psychic shape changer. The Doctor took a breath and slowly backed away.
"Doctor, what are you doing? Save me!" Rose looked so afraid. No, no, he reminded himself, not Rose. A monster. A very scary monster.
It was everything in him, but he turned, and continued to run.
He turned another corridor, and found a door. Hopping inside, he pulled out his sonic screwdriver and locked it behind him. Right. Another disaster avoided, then?
The Doctor did not yelp. Well, he may have. But he would never admit it. He did spin around to face a beautiful blonde in a red dress, flanked by two large metal robots.
"I like to think I am," the Doctor replied, plastering on a grin. The woman approached him, and he realized that he was rather trapped with a locked door as his only exit. She walked with an unnatural grace, and she seemed to exude sexuality.
"Tall, pretty, particularly sexual," the Doctor listed, "Succubus? No, no, you wouldn't have those bodyguards of yours. I can warn you, though, that sort of thing doesn't work on me."
The blonde tilted her head as she pressed her body up against the Doctor's. She didn't feel undead, she was very warm.
"Are you alive?" she murmured, the question sincere and curious.
The Doctor eyed her warily. Alive? What was...
"Yes," he said.
A grin appeared on her face. "Prove it." Her mouth rose to meet his, and she kissed him with a strange, terrifying sort of need. The Doctor resisted and tried to pull away, but she was much, much stronger than she looked.
There was the sound of metal on metal, and the woman jerked back.
If there was a band, the hero's theme would've played as Jack leaped into action, firing off bullets into the two robots that flanked the woman, and the woman herself. She began to advance on Jack, and the Doctor took the opportunity to run.
"Doctor, this way!" he darted after Jack, slamming a door behind them and zapping his screwdriver onto the lock.
He took a deep, calming breath. Well, slightly calming. Well, it might've been calming if he wasn't about to run for his life. Again.
"Ah, Doctor, we meet again." An obese, green, and large-clawed monster grinned at him from the case it had just opened.
The Absorbaloff. And here he thought he'd let it be absorbed by the Earth. It waved a clawed hand at him and began to waddle in their direction
"It doesn't have a cane this time, Doctor," Jack said, "So, I suggest we run?"
The Doctor nodded, "Good idea."
Down another long set of cases, the Doctor and Jack ran. The Absorbaloff chased with fervor, pausing only long enough to absorb a rabid clown as it ran for them. Another door closed and locked. The Absorbaloff slammed itself against the door, but it held firm.
"Right, well, we got away from that, at least," the Doctor said.
"Only just," Jack said, "We weren't lucky this time."
The Doctor nodded, then paused as the wheels in his head began to turn. "We weren't lucky last time," he said, "Rose and I faced down the Absorbaloff, not you and I. How did you know about the cane?"
Jack's face twisted, and a tentacle sped for the Doctor's forehead. The Doctor was faster, however, and he pressed his sonic screwdriver in the direction of the Polymorph, forcing transformation and running towards the next set of doors.
Oh, he really hoped Mickey and Jack weren't looking for an exit on this side of the museum.
Behind the next corridor was a basilisk---a half-chicken, half-lizard with the ability to turn creatures to stone with its gaze. Fortunately for the Doctor, it was distracted with killing some nannies, and he hand a chance to pull the next set of doors closed before it could get him. It knew he was there, and the Doctor could feel the claws scratch at the door after he locked it.
To the Doctor's surprise, this side of the museum was completely silent. The screaming and the raging from other rooms could be heard in the distance, but nothing came from this hall at all. Odd, for the hall was large, a rather prominent display apparently missing from the middle of it.
Not a very good sign.
The Doctor took a few steps forward, glancing at the description. The Gentlemen.
Weird. He opened his mouth to read aloud what it read below it, but he found no sound came from his throat. No voice. Where had his voice gone? Panic hit him. His only real strength, his ability to talk! Gone!
There was a crash, and the Doctor spun around, to see Mickey banging on the side of the wall with a fold-up chair. His mouth moved silently, but he pointed behind the Doctor insistently. The Doctor turned, and his eyes went wide.
Two tall, grotesque demons with stretched-out grins on their faces floated into the room, faceless monsters in straightjackets lumbering behind them. Oh, this was bad. Very bad. The Doctor ran towards Mickey, and gestured towards the door. Mickey's gesture easily read 'Don't have to tell me twice,' and he followed.
They pulled open the door, only to be faced by a very frightened looking Jack. Jack gestured behind himself, to two more gentlemen, one with a scalpel, and one with a small wooden box. The three men were trapped in the room, no voice, and no idea what to do.
As one, they backed away from the approaching demons, until their backs were flush with the locked door. Behind the door was an evil basilisk, but in front of them were vicious, smiling monsters.
This would've been a perfect time to make a quip, but the Doctor had no ability to.
Suddenly, a spear shot out from behind the Gentlemen, knocking the wooden box from its hand and shattering it on the ground. Silver strands shot up from the box and into the Doctor, Jack and Mickey's throats. As one, the Gentlemen turned to face their intruder. A warrior Queen.
Without warning, Peri screamed. The Gentlemen's faces stayed in their deformed smiles, but, one by one, their heads exploded. When the last one crumbled to the ground, Peri's screams silenced.
"They only die when a princess screams," she said, matter-of-factly, "They reform in the morning, I have to do this every night."
"Oh my God," Mickey said, "She's alive, too. And I can talk."
"Don't be afraid," Peri said, "I'm Peri. You're going to be okay."
The Doctor took a step towards her. "Peri," he said, "I-It's me. The Doctor."
A smile appeared on her face, and, despite the tribal attire, he saw the woman he remembered from so long ago.
"I know," she said, "Who else would it be?"
The Doctor nodded, "Yep."
Jack shook his head, "Right, great, Doctor's a troublemaker. I'm Jack." He took a step forward and took Peri's hand, giving it a kiss, "Did I mention I love warrior women?"
"Not the time or place," the Doctor scolded, "Peri, can you tell us what's going on here?"
Peri, looking more than a bit flustered at Jack's action, nodded, "It's the curator. Diana...whatsherface. She's not human. I caught a ride with you---not, you, you, but the you before the you---back to Earth a few years ago, and I was looking at this museum, but got trapped here overnight. If you get trapped here at night, you turn into an exhibit. She creates history, bends things, like with the Matrix on Gallifrey, remember?"
The Doctor nodded, "Growing her collection. But why?"
"Because I can."
"Oh, but they do so love to just show up on cue, don't they?" the Doctor snorted.
Standing in the far doorway was Diana, but her red hair was wild, like a cornea around her head, and she wore the robes of the statue outside. Artemis. Diana. The Doctor shook his head. "Creative alias, hiding behind Greecian mythology. Are we supposed to believe you're a goddess, then?"
"Believe what you like," Diana said, "I am the curator of the most fantastic living monster exhibit. And you, Doctor, are going to be in it. All of you. I'll create the most terrible and fascinating stories for you, you needn't worry. You'll become the scariest of monsters."
The Doctor shook his head, "Oh, you're wrong. Because, you see, we don't need to have stories created for us. Peri, Mickey, Jack and I? We create them all on our own."
"Yes, my Polymorph pulled much from your mind, Doctor. But you have no plan, and no way to stop me, and, more importantly, no way to get out."
The Doctor nodded, "True. Very true. But, I do have this."
He turned the knob to the door behind them, and the basilisk stepped out, growling and snarling. Diana's hands went to cover her eyes, but it was too late.
"Noooo!" Her hands, her robes, and even her fiery hair turned into stone.
The Doctor shook his head. "If you're going to be the curator of a museum of monsters, you should know how to handle them."
The basilisk cawed loudly, and crumbled into the form of a frightened, naked human. The Gentlemen did as well, and they cowered from the Doctor and his companions. There were more strangled, monstrous cries throughout the museum, followed by the sounds of humanity reawakening.
Ambulances sped away from the now-condemned building, and the Doctor pulled off his tie and gave his neck a quick crack. So much for an easy evening hanging out with Jack. All the same, could've been worse. Freed a companion. Got to make fun of Mickey's terrible taste in women. Wasn't a total loss.
"Doctor," Peri called out behind him.
The Doctor turned and grinned at her, "Hey," he said, "Check you out, you all right?"
"I've lost thirty years," Peri said, "But I didn't age it. It's...a bit to take in."
The Doctor nodded, "I can imagine. But you'll be all right. If anyone would be, it would be you."
Peri smiled, "You're so different. But...not. You know?"
He laughed, "New New New Doctor for you, then, eh?"
He stuffed his hands into his pockets, "Well, the last thirty years have been middling. Take you out for a cup of coffee, you and Jack can reminisce on being American, and share the horror stories of the scary monsters you elect as president, hmm?"
Peri grinned, "I'd love to."
The Doctor offered her his hand, "Welcome back to the world of the living, Peri."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 3,578
Based on this questionnaire.