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The Black Guardian held his fingers in a pool of green slime. Laughter arose deeply in his lungs as a hive of alien insects gestate in their chrysalides surrounding.
‘You will face your greatest enemies again…Doctor!’ the Black Guardian roared with his insane laughter.

ARDIS functions imperative.

Turlough sat up as if in a slow nightmare. His mind felt out of control, ears in pain from peels of horrible laughter as the Doctor and Tegan came through the great white doors.

‘That’s the problem with parasites; they always seem to survive in wet heat.’

‘Doctor, you have a very dry sense of humour.’

Turlough hid behind the TARDIS console. He sat upright and blinked away that terrible laughing face.

‘Turlough!’ said the Doctor.

The young man stood upwards and fell promptly against the linear corridor amplifier. They all shifted violently, red lights flashing. The Doctor slapped Turlough’s hand away from the roundabout knob to reset the linear corridor alignment.

‘You can never be too careful, Turlough.’

‘I need a flight to Brisbane,’ said Tegan, as she regained her balance, ‘What I wouldn’t give for an ice cream sundae.’

The blue box spun deeper into a full C-Space pep tide. At the edge of a nebulous black hole, the TARDIS absorbed into the Andromeda Galaxy; Materialization suspended. The police box spun in and out of control while the top light blinked away, slowly.

‘Phew… that was close,’ and the Doctor pushed a button, ‘we seem to be caught in the gulf of a moon’s hubris?’ he said, and they watch the Time Space Visualizer.

A great blue light shone through the dust rings of a revolving planetoid. Further underneath their focal plane, they witness the appearance of an atmosphere.

‘Ah yes, this is Alpha Andromeda 5.’ and he shifted his two heart sided valve pulleys, ‘Circa 8252, yes, the ion storms should have long past by now. Care to have a look?’

‘That’s supposed to be a planet?’ asked Tegan.

‘It is a planet Tegan, not particularly spacious, but still interesting enough within its parameters.’ and the Doctor fanned out a planetary particle scan.

All the while behind them, Turlough stood massaging his temples, imagining, ‘Turlough, Turlough, this is the Black Guardian!’

He fought back in his mind, repeating, ‘No! No!’

‘Turlough, this is your chance to destroy the Doctor!’

The screen took in a closer scan on an amber ocean scape, then focused in on the sky over a freshly erupted volcano as the screen then revealed something unnerving.

‘Eww, gosh, that looks ghastly.’

Tegan referred to an enormous cocoon, or perhaps hive, it had a low base level alike a turtle shell but a high leaning tower near the crumbling banks of a murky river.

‘It’s a biological repository, the stasis system for an insect colony.’

‘You mean a hive?’ said Tegan.

‘Turlough! Do not fail me!’

‘Yes, a gestation residence, not particularly glamorous.’ the Doctor turned his attention to the scanner, ‘Curious! There seems to be something unknown inside.’

‘An element of some kind?’

A further series of button taps, ‘By foxtrot delta enumerations… an object cocooned inside that structure… is by definition… alien?’


t had to be one of the worst times to land there ever. The wind blew through yards of solid boulders, with only the slim glimmer of blue sunlight throughout and clouds cast down rays of filthy fog as the large hive structure loomed gauntly in the distance and the TARDIS materializes clearly nearby.

The Time Space view screen showed an unusual object, a transport vessel. Tegan stood still while looking at its broken wingspan, ‘It looks like a spacecraft.’

‘Yes, Tellurian model, though its origins escape me.’  The Doctor typed a parallel time-signature distortion, ‘I’m programming materialization inside.’

Turlough staggered, ‘Maybe, maybe we should leave.’

‘Doctor, look!’ said Tegan, and she pointed at the tower where the top level seemed to disappear into depths of darkness, and she squinted, ‘It looks like it’s… disappearing.’

The wind blows faster outside.

The doors opened as they stood ready to leave, but Turlough groaned, ‘I don’t feel very good about this.’

‘You’re not safe here alone.’ she said, and nudged his shoulder, ‘Just try and hold on.’

‘It feels wrong. We should go back to Earth.’

The Doctor overhears, and judges, ‘Right,’ while walking outside.

The wind was kept at bay by a stout rock ledge. Turlough and Tegan had both noticed the Doctor examining a soil sample.

‘Silicon based, fossilized carbon.’ He clapped his hands, ‘Not the kind of place for a windy walk.’

The Doctor descended into a narrow crater. Tegan crossed her arms while Turlough kept his eyes scanning.

A gust of wind caught the Doctor by surprise. His body fell roundly in a quick spiral. Soon, the three of them held tightly to a boulder beside a pool of crystal sludge.

‘We need to be careful! There’s danger in these pools!’

‘Turlough! You cannot escape!’

‘No!’ he screamed, and fled away from the Doctor and Tegan.

‘Turlough!’ said the Doctor, and they clung to a huge chunk of plasticene phosgenite, ‘Come back here!’

‘This isn’t the time to wander!’ screamed Tegan.

Turlough ran fast back towards the TARDIS through the flashes of lightning, back along the narrow crater he had come earlier with the Doctor and Tegan and shot through the police box doors.

In a need to leave immediately, he programmed the console for dematerialization.

The Doctor and Tegan both rushed into a cosmic echo following Turlough and in time to witness the TARDIS disappearing. The two of them stopped in a quick and sudden desertion.

‘He’s gone. We’re lost.’ said Tegan.

‘Not quite.’

The Doctor pulled out his folded hat from the pocket of his coat, ‘I set the directional coordinates within the spacecraft.’ and put the hat on while lowering its brim. ‘Best foot forward Tegan; we haven’t a moment to lose.’

‘Oh Doctor, I have a bad feeling about this.’

They set each step with a calm sense of caution. Not too sure about what might come next. Their feet felt the need to leave carefully.

From Turlough’s paranoia, all evidence pointed to the Black Guardian, but any form of alien servants remained unknown.

Soon the tower came into sight, and the Doctor could only assume it had been made for a benevolent form of ruler ship.

On closer observation, the Doctor directed, ‘If you look closely, you can see the hive shell is disintegrating.’ and he helped Tegan down from a ledge.

‘Like when the top of the tower disappeared?’

‘No, that’s something else entirely. From the look of the shell membrane, this hive has been here for a good many decades.’



artwork by ANDY LAMBERT
used with permission
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