He starts running. Hands are sweaty, but he handles the screwdriver well in them. All but slams into the door as he leads Martha forward. Screwdriver to lock, door opens. They push through. She looks terrified. He throws her a smile, then throws her a bit of machinery.
"We're going to get out of this, right, Doctor?"
He laughs, and slams shut the door behind them, pressing the key to the lock. "Of course we are! I've got everything under control."
2. The corridors are damp. What is it with damp corridors? His shoes make disgusting splashing noises. He would cringe, especially if he remembered just how badly his toes wrinkle up in wet socks, but he isn’t thinking about that, he’s just thinking about the box at the end of this stretch of corridor, the box with the little switches on it that kill the power.
"Do you think they're following us?"
"No, of course not! That door is solid steel, they'll give up, nothing to worry about!"
He runs faster.
3. He skids to a halt in front of the box, zaps the lock with the screwdriver, and pulls it open. He swears in a language that he's pretty sure Martha doesn't understand.
"What is it, is that bad?" she asks, gasping for air.
"It's…um…this is the only box?"
"You said this was the circuit box you needed, Doctor!"
"It was, it was!"
"Now, it's…look, we'll find another one."
"I'm sure I saw one a little up ahead. We can make it!" He darts forward again, leaving his exasperated companion to chase after him.
"Are you sure you saw it?"
"Yes, I'm sure I saw it!"
4. Quarter of a mile later, there's another box, and this one is the right one. He presses the tip of the screwdriver into the center, and the lights go out. Red emergency lights fill the corridors. The banging behind them quiets. The creatures are confused.
The Doctor grins madly.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
He turns the grin to his companion. "Oh, yes."
5. They're red-lit and running again, with several doors behind them burst open. Things just never go as planned.
"Not exactly what you were planning?"
Another door. He pushed it open, pulled his companion through, and sealed it. And took a breath.
"I'm beginning to think you pick places for their danger level." She looks decidedly irritated.
He, in turn, looks completely offended. "I would never do that!"
A key goes into the lock on the other side, and there's no more time for conversation.
6. This corridor leads to a room. A very big room with lots and lots of switches lining the walls, but no monitors, no seats, nothing else. It's a bit dizzying.
"How could they have all these switches, but no labels?" Martha asks, in awe. She looks up to the high-domed ceiling that goes to black due to the power outage. "There must be thousands of switches. What do they all do?"
"Well, at this rate…" the Doctor looks behind them when the door gets slammed loudly. "I don't think we have much time to guess."
He runs along the wall, throwing various switches and pushing random buttons. Sirens go off, and the creatures behind the wall scream.
"It's all right, I know what I'm doing!"
7. And again.
They run run run run down the hallway before turning into another room. This place is a labyrinth, and the Doctor can't help but say that aloud as he leans against the door, gasping for air.
"And not the Labyrinth with Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly either. A real, proper, futuristic labyrinth made for madmen."
"Well, that is what's chasing us, yeah?" He leans on his knees and looks out into the room they're hiding in.
It's actually a gym with a pool, for recreational use. The pool glitters a bit in the red light, but it looks like it hasn't been cleaned in ages. Something moves beneath the surface, and the Doctor doesn't have to make too wild a guess to know it's like the creatures that are following them.
"What are these things?" Martha asks.
He looks up at her and takes a breath. "I have no idea."
8. They tiptoe past the water and make it to another room, this one is more of a control center. There are smashed cameras, and the very rotted, very smelly corpse of what looks like a human, leaning over the controls.
Martha cringes and covers her mouth from the smell. The Doctor doesn't.
"It looks like he had a heart attack from shock, and the creatures came in here, later," he says.
He steps forward and prods the side of the corpse with the end of his screwdriver. A wet bit of bone comes loose, covered in puscules and rotted flesh. It's only the beginning of another limb, coming out of his side.
"Don't tell me you're going to lick that."
"The thought never crossed my mind."
9. It's at this point that Martha realizes something. He can always tell when she realizes something, because her eyes get very wide, and she does this sort of half-hop thing that the Doctor believes must be the electrical current coming from her feet to turn the lightbulb in her head on. It's actually quite adorable.
"The creatures out there have six limbs," she says, "They have six limbs, and this man was growing two more when he died."
The Doctor nods, very slowly, and shifts back to his feet.
"Oh my God, Doctor, they're people. They're just people."
There's a roar, and the creature in the water leaps from it, slamming itself against the glass in the control room.
"Not anymore they're not," the Doctor grabs Martha's arm, "That's the only one in here, let's go."
10. Another corridor.
"Don't you ever get tired of running?"
11. The escape pod, within which is the TARDIS. He ushers Martha inside, and slams the door after himself, just in time to hear something wet smack against the outside of it.
"They were people, Doctor." She's still reeling from that realization. "People. Humans!"
"Or something like them."
"What happened to them?" she asks, taking in shaky, frightened breaths.
"Mutations," he replied, "General, large-scale and completely uniform mutations."
"Like Lazarus, but with a whole ship?"
"Something like that, yep." He pops the 'p', and bounds over to the console.
"Isn't there anything we can do?"
He looks over at her, and the genuine, honest-to-god earnestness in her expression is almost enough to make him start. The creatures nearly ripped her apart, and she wants to save them.
"There's nothing we can do," he says.
"So we run?"
"Yeah, we run."
"Aren't you tired of running?"
"You asked me that already."
"Yes, but I think you were lying."
He laughs, but it sounds dry, even to him.
"I would never lie to you, Martha."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,176