‘THE VICTORIAN VAMPIRES’
By Tim Bradley
Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.
Set between ‘The Austen Code’ and ‘Junglos 4198’.
Jane Austen had been saved! Well, that was a relief! It was fortunate that Miss Austen said those words in disbelief at Sulis Minerva, cancelling out her existence in order to save our lives. But it had me wonder what caused Sulis Minerva to be created in the first place and how the temporal convergence in Bath in seventy nine AD, seventeen ninety-seven and two thousand and eleven had occurred.
That was what was troubling me as Nyssa, Billy and I returned to the TARDIS. We were still in our best eighteenth century clothes for evening entertainment. We attended the ball at the Assembly Rooms in Bath in order to…celebrate, I suppose…that Jane Austen had been saved and as a ‘thank you’ to her for helping us. Nyssa and Billy clearly enjoyed the evening as they were dancing like fire on the dance floor then.
I was pre-setting the TARDIS controls for our new destination. Whatever it was, I didn’t know yet. It was then that Nyssa asked the same question that was troubling me at that moment.
“Doctor,” she asked. I acknowledged in reply without a word. “What was it that caused that temporal convergence in Bath in its three times in the end? And how was Sulis Minerva created?”
I was about to explain to Nyssa that I had no answer to these questions she was asking and also that I was pondering on them myself, when I pressed the dematerialisation control unit. That was my error. No sooner had I pressed the control, the TARDIS lurched forward. All three of us hung on the TARDIS console for dear life, as we were being plunged forth into the time vortex itself.
I could see Billy was struggling to keep a grip on the TARDIS console as he looked up to see where Nyssa and I were holding on.
“Doctor,” he cried. “What’s happening? I thought the danger was over! With that temporal convergence!”
“So did I,” I replied and began to check the TARDIS instruments for any data that was coming in on the monitors.
“Doctor,” Nyssa said perkily. “It could be what caused the temporal convergence for Bath in the first place. If the TARDIS is being drawn off course…”
“Yes,” I interrupted Nyssa then. “I’ll see if I can try to direct the TARDIS’ temporal directional control beam to the source of whatever it is that’s dragging us off course.”
I began to do so and struggling to reach up to the other side of the TARDIS console; I pressed the control button to activate the temporal directional control beam. As soon as I pressed, the TARDIS lurched backwards. It sent me; Nyssa and Billy off balance as we ended up on the floor.
Fortunately however, we didn’t have to endure a lot of juddering and shaking whilst inside the TARDIS. The old girl seemed to have come to a stop. I braced myself for a bit whilst I sat on the floor…in not a very complimentary position I should add.
Eventually, I got up from the floor and approached the TARDIS console. I then set about my priorities on checking my companions next.
“Nyssa; Billy? Are you alright?” I asked.
“Yes,” Nyssa replied reassuringly.
Billy was at the far end of the console room, whilst Nyssa was close to the TARDIS interior doors. Both struggled to get up from the floor, holding onto the TARDIS roundel walls for support.
“Yes,” Billy answered reassuringly. “Yes I’m fine, Doctor. No bones broken.”
“Good, good,” I declared. Once satisfied with Nyssa and Billy’s safety, I checked the TARDIS monitors and databanks for information and ascertain where and when we were as well as what happened.
After a while, I looked up from the TARDIS console. I didn’t know whether I was astounded or shocked.
“Doctor,” Nyssa asked concerned. “What’s wrong? Where are we? When are we?”
It took me a moment to consolidate my thoughts together to formulate a reply.
“We’re still on Earth, Nyssa,” I replied, checking the TARDIS readouts as I went on. “Somewhere in London in the nineteenth century. A distance away from Bath.”
“Some distance, yeah!” Billy concurred. “How come we ended up in London? And a century later?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I just don’t know.”
The confusion must have shown on my face to Nyssa and Billy. I checked the TARDIS databanks again. There was something else. Something that just cropped up when I checked the temporal-spatial detectors.
“Aha!” I declared.
“What is it,” Nyssa asked inquisitively. “Doctor, what have you found out?”
“The TARDIS has detected a massive temporal energy spike, Nyssa,” I replied. “I suspect this must be where the source of the temporal convergence for Bath came from?”
“What?!” Nyssa asked astonished. “A temporal energy spike in nineteenth century London causing a temporal convergence for Bath in three separate time zones?! How can this be?”
“No idea,” I answered. “But it’s worth finding out! Shall we go and look?” I turned to Nyssa at that point. “Nyssa! Fetch two temporal trackers from the TARDIS cupboard. We’ll need them in order to find the source of the energy spike, should we need to split up into two groups.”
Nyssa was about to go off out of the console room to fetch the temporal trackers, when Billy stepped in.
“Doctor,” Billy began. “Aren’t you going to check where we are in nineteenth century London? We could be anywhere as well as that temporal energy spike you mentioned.”
“We’ll find out once we get outside, Billy!” I answered, quite jovially I might add. “Don’t worry,” I made to reassure him. “I’m sure we’ll find out where we are in due time. Oh by the way…”
Nyssa was almost heading out of the console room through the door when she and Billy turned to me.
“Yes,” they asked in unison.
“I suggest you two stay in your eighteenth century clothes. They may help you to blend into nineteenth century London as much as it did in eighteenth century Bath.”
Very soon, Billy, the Doctor and I were outside. We stepped out of the TARDIS and entered into what looked like a large room. It was full of beds. A bedroom perhaps? No! A ward. A ward full of beds! We must be in some kind of hospital.
We stepped forward and explored more of the place in order to get our bearings as to where we were. I couldn’t help but feel a little conspicuous in the ball gown I was wearing for the eighteenth century Assembly Room ball dances that Billy and I had enjoyed. There was a certain coldness in the air about this place. A staleness in the atmosphere. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was the most uninviting room I’d ever been to, if it was a hospital ward at all.
Then I discovered that the beds weren’t full of hospital patients. They were full of boys. Human boys, of course. In school uniforms! Schoolboys! Of course! This place must be a boarding school. I recall the Doctor mentioning them to me during the times we visited Earth in its Victorian age.
“Doctor, we must be in a school,” I remarked.
“Yes,” the Doctor replied, deep in thought. “Definitely one of the stricter schools of the old establishment. This is one of the schools that Charles Dickens would have described in his accounts and works like ‘David Copperfield’.”
“I remember being taught about school life in the Victorian times when I was growing up at my school as a kid,” Billy declared. “I didn’t like how schoolteachers treated their kids. They were certainly poor conditions for a school in those days.”
“Why, what did the schoolteachers do to their pupils?” I asked, interested.
“Trust me,” Billy answered. “You don’t want to know. Let’s hope we won’t have to stay around to find out.”
“We may have to,” the Doctor announced.
“Why?” I asked, apprehensively. “What’s the matter?”
Then I saw why. The Doctor had activated one of his temporal tracker devices which I’d taken from the TARDIS store cupboard. He was now using it to scan the area. I saw the look on his face. It didn’t look good.
“I’ve just been using this temporal tracker I have here,” the Doctor began, “And it seems that the source of the temporal energy spike is coming from downstairs. We must have materialised on the top floor of this school, considering it’s the school dormitory of course.”
“So we have to go downstairs then?” Billy asked. I could see how unhappy he looked.
“I would have thought that was obvious, Billy” the Doctor replied ruefully.
“Then let’s go,” I declared, feeling very determined. “The sooner we sort this temporal business out the better.”
“Quite,” the Doctor concurred. “Come on then. Let’s get downstairs and see if we can find what the trouble’s about.”
Billy sighed. “Alright,” he then said. “I suppose it’s worth checking out.”
As we were about to leave, I noticed something rather peculiar about these boys lying on the beds in their school uniforms. I felt I couldn’t let this mystery go unnoticed, so I had to stop the Doctor and Billy as well as myself from going any further.
“Doctor,” I began.
The Doctor and Billy turned back to look at me.
“What is it, Nyssa?” the Doctor asked.
“Haven’t you noticed something peculiar about these schoolboys on the beds?”
The Doctor looked at them from where he was standing in the room.
“No,” he replied. “Not that I can see.”
“Look carefully, Doctor,” I urged him. “There’s an unusual complexion about them. The boys’ faces! They look so pale and white! Almost death-like to me!”
Billy noticed this for the first time, as he went forward to inspect the boys lying on the beds before him.
“Yes,” he began. “I can see what you mean, Nyssa. The boys do look like as if they’re dead.” He paused for a moment. “But I’m not sure if this is something that happens regularly at a Victorian school.”
The Doctor then saw what Billy and I had seen.
“Yes Nyssa,” he said to me. “You do have a point. I wonder if these boys are still alive.” The Doctor paused for a moment and then turned to Billy. “Billy! See if you can wake one of the boys up, just to check they’re not dead.”
Billy had no quarrel with that and did as the Doctor said. He shook one of the schoolboys’ gently.
“Hello,” he called to him. “Little boy! Wake up! Are you asleep?”
The boy then groaned weakly as he slept. But he didn’t wake up. I sighed with relief and so did the Doctor.
“It’s alright, Billy,” the Doctor told him. “You can stop there now. I think it’s safe to say that these boys are still in the land of the living rather than of the dead.”
I would have been satisfied with that fact the Doctor made if it weren’t for one small thing.
“But why are they so pale white and death-like, Doctor?” I asked him. “The boy that Billy tried to wake up just now was groaning very weakly. He may not be dead yet…” and I couldn’t believe how morbid and gloomy I was sounding by this point, “…but he looks to be on his way to death, doesn’t he?”
The Doctor didn’t answer my question and theories on that. Instead, he cleared his throat under his breath and patted me and Billy on the shoulders to reassure us.
“Come on, you two,” he stated. “Let’s go and see if we can find out what’s going on downstairs and where the temporal energy spike is coming from.”
With that, the Doctor held out his temporal tracker before him. It beeped frequently as the Doctor followed its tracker signal to locate the source of the temporal energy spike. Billy and I looked at each other and shrugged, before we eventually followed after the Doctor. We headed out of the schoolboys’ dormitory, leaving a deathly silence and atmosphere behind.
It didn’t take us long to get downstairs to the ground floor. This seemed to be a rather small building for a boarding school, especially in London. The Doctor, Nyssa and I reached the foot of the stairs to enter into what seemed like the main hallway. No sooner had we entered the hallway, that we heard shouting and bawling from a room close by. It must be a classroom mustn’t it, I thought. I feared the worst.
“Doctor, what’s that?” Nyssa asked surprised. “It sounds like someone shouting.”
“I believe one of the children of the school is getting a telling off, Nyssa,” the Doctor replied.
There was then a whipping sound close by. I knew what that sound was. It made me shudder to think about it.
“There’s now a whipping sound, Doctor,” Nyssa remarked. “Like someone is hitting somebody!”
“It’s a cane being used isn’t it, Doctor?” I asked, hoping that it wouldn’t be true even though it was. “One of the schoolboys is being whipped with a cane.”
“A cane?!” Nyssa asked, puzzled.
“Come on!” the Doctor said determined. “The classroom is close by here to our left. Let’s go and see, shall we?”
I wish we didn’t have to. But the thought of a school boy being injured by one of the teachers at this school made me determined as the Doctor and Nyssa were to stop this once and for all.
We eventually turned round the corner to the left and found a door leading into a classroom. The Doctor opened the door and we entered inside. The staleness of the school was still with us as we entered. What I saw made my blood boil. There before us was a classroom full of schoolboys; looking pale and drained as the ones we’d seen upstairs in the school dormitory. At the front of the classroom was a boy on the floor being whipped by a schoolteacher with a cane. The schoolteacher looked vicious as he whipped his cane onto him. I remember a teacher we used to have at the school we went to called Mr. Lewis. He used to use a cane on us while he was teaching. I’ll never forget the horrors of Mr. Lewis back then.
The schoolteacher continued his attack on the school boy, bawling, “Do you want to die or have some sense knocked into you, Hutchins! You will learn! Answer me! Translate into Latin! “Ignorance of the law excuses no one”!”
The boy struggled to answer as he was being canned again by the schoolteacher. Nyssa was horrified as much as the Doctor and me.
“Stop this!” Nyssa cried. “Stop this at once!”
The schoolteacher didn’t seem to notice or hear Nyssa as she protested. He had an evil look about him, I could tell. He also like the children had a pale, deathly look about him. Yet he seemed to revel in it.
I couldn’t stand this violent scene any longer. I was going to put a stop to it. I had to.
“Didn’t you hear what Nyssa said,” I cried angrily. “Stop this at once! Leave the boy alone!”
“Billy no,” the Doctor cried. “Get back!”
I was about to push the schoolteacher aside and have him thrown to the floor away from the boy. But somehow I didn’t need to. The schoolteacher looked up and saw me, stopping his attack on the boy with his cane. He then backed away, with a look of terror on his face. I’ve never seen anyone look as frightened as he did. And he was frightened of me?! Why?! Although I’m grateful I managed to stop him hurting the boy on the floor.
The schoolteacher backed up against the wall where the blackboard was hanging behind him.
“Keep away from me,” the schoolteacher cried, pleadingly. “Stay away!” he then shouted. “Who are you?! What are you doing in my classroom?! How dare you enter here?!”
This guy was really rattled about my presence in the classroom. But why?! I hadn’t done anything to him. Not yet anyway. All I did was protest like Nyssa did and advance forward to stop him. I couldn’t have been that lucky to stop the violent scene, could I?
It gave me a chance to get down onto the floor to check the boy who had been whipped with the cane. The boy didn’t seem to be full of life. He just lay there on the floor, looking all in and lifeless. And who could blame him?! His skin was so pale!
The Doctor and Nyssa then stepped forward. Nyssa joined me on the floor to examine the boy, whilst the Doctor addressed the schoolteacher.
“How do you do?” the Doctor said cheerfully. “I’m the Doctor and these are my friends Nyssa and Billy.”
Whilst Nyssa examined the school boy for herself, I could see the schoolteacher still looking rattled as before. He seemed more annoyed and frustrated when the Doctor confronted him.
“What are you three people doing in my classroom?” he asked agitatedly. “You’re disturbing me in the middle of my lesson!”
“This is your school then?!” the Doctor asked inquisitively. “Very interesting! And as for your lesson, it didn’t look like you were teaching much. You seemed to put on a show of unnecessary violence.”
The Doctor then turned to me and Nyssa and asked how the boy was on the floor.
Nyssa answered, “I’m not sure how he is, Doctor. He seems to be in one piece. But without the medical gear to check the boy’s condition, I can’t be sure whether he’s just weak with exhaustion. His pale complexion is more than it seems.”
“I agree,” the Doctor declared. “He’s like the other schoolboys upstairs in the school dormitory.”
“How come you to be in my school, sir?” the schoolteacher demanded bitterly. “What gives you the right to enter my school and…?”
The Doctor interrupted him. “We’re visitors to the school, sir,” he said. “Inspectors. Come to see and check on the conditions of your school.”
The teacher looked surprised and astonished. He now changed his tune.
“Inspectors?” he said surprised. “School inspectors?! Dear God! I had no idea! We were not expecting school inspectors to visit us here today!”
“Well now you have,” the Doctor replied boldly. Good for him, I thought. He then asked, “Might I ask who you are sir?”
The schoolteacher stood upright away from the wall to address the Doctor. “Redstone,” he answered. “My name is Mr. Redstone, Head of this school. You are most welcome, sir.”
He had a crooked smile. Somehow I couldn’t believe his new cavalier manner was sincere. There was something wrong about him. I couldn’t make out what though.
“Really?” the Doctor asked, not convinced by Mr. Redstone’s welcome. “You didn’t seem to imply it just a moment ago.”
“I had no idea you three were school inspectors,” Redstone answered, smiling not so warmly. He then looked at me and his smile waned at that moment. What was it he didn’t seem to like? I couldn’t make it out. Was my approach to stop him attacking the poor boy on the floor really that effective?
Redstone then changed his tune towards the Doctor. “Would you care to be given a tour around the school, sir? Mr…?”
“Doctor,” the Doctor answered.
“Doctor,” Redstone repeated. I’m not sure whether he accepted the Doctor’s answer to giving him his name as genuine. He seemed puzzled and was expecting another answer. I suppose that’s understandable, since Nyssa and I don’t know his name either.
“Doctor,” Nyssa interrupted. “I’d like to take this boy with me back to the TARDIS. Just to check on his condition.”
“Of course,” the Doctor concurred approvingly. He then turned to me. “Billy! Would you go with Nyssa? Help her carry the boy back to the TARDIS. Return to me as soon as you can to tell me what you find.”
“Will you be alright on your own, Doctor?” I asked.
“It’s alright, Billy,” the Doctor replied. “I’m sure I’ll be in good hands with Mr. Redstone guiding me around the school. It’s not a massive building anyway for you and Nyssa to find me.”
“Come on then, Billy,” Nyssa said, resting her hand on my shoulder reassuringly. “Let’s go back to the TARDIS and see how the boy is.”
I then agreed and helped to lift the boy up from the floor and carry him. The boy didn’t weigh more than a pound and was easy to carry for me somehow. Nyssa led and guided the way as she headed out of the schoolroom.
“Follow me then, Doctor,” Mr. Redstone said. “I’ll show you to where we hold our assemblies at school first, shall I?”
“Of course,” the Doctor replied. “I’d forgotten I’d accepted your gracious invitation to be guided around the school, Mr. Redstone.”
I don’t think the Doctor ever did. I think the Doctor knew it. But he wasn’t going to argue.
I looked back and saw Redstone guiding the Doctor out of the classroom. Redstone still looked at me with some apprehension, as if he was still afraid of me. But why?! I then saw the other school children, who looked as pale as this little boy I was carrying in my arms. They didn’t seem to be interested about anything as Nyssa and I walked past them. What had got into them I wonder? Could the school really have made them so depressed and pale-like?
Very soon, Nyssa and I left the classroom. I kept carrying the boy in my arms as we headed out.
Mr. Redstone asked me what the TARDIS was where Nyssa and Billy were heading. I didn’t give him much of an answer though, saying that it’s where Nyssa and Billy needed to check on the poor boy’s condition with the right medical equipment. I used the temporal tracker I had in my hand to check for any detection of the temporal energy spike when Redstone wasn’t looking. It didn’t seem to be picking up a high energy reading as I carried it with me, whilst being escorted by Mr. Redstone around the school.
We eventually came to another classroom. We entered inside and there was another group of schoolboys being taught Latin by another schoolteacher. The schoolboys were much the same as the ones who were taught by Mr. Redstone earlier. They were pale and white-skinned, looking drained of energy and depressed. The schoolteacher was another stern-looking fellow that seemed to have a similarity to Redstone, except he had a moustache.
Redstone stepped forward to meet the other schoolteacher in the room and address him.
“Bluestone,” he barked to gain his attention.
The other schoolteacher called Bluestone saw Redstone approach him. He then turned to the class.
“Rise up! Mr. Redstone’s in the room!”
The boys did as they were told, as they stood up from their desks. They didn’t look afraid or alert as you would expect schoolboys of the nineteenth century to be. They just seemed half-awake and distant.
“Mr. Bluestone!” Redstone began, before he introduced me to him. “This is…the Doctor! He’s come to inspect the conditions of this fine establishment of ours.”
“School inspector?!” Bluestone asked, surprised. “I did not know we were having a school inspection today, Mr. Redstone.”
“Neither did I,” Redstone replied, rather coldly in my opinion.
I reached out to shake Mr. Bluestone’s hand. “Delighted to make your acquaintance, sir,” I said cheerfully.
Bluestone however didn’t receive my hand, nor shake it. He just looked at me with a cold, unnerving stare. I dropped my hand by my side, feeling rather insulted.
“You and Mr. Redstone seem rather similar, Mr. Bluestone,” I stated. “Are you two related at all?”
“Should we be?” Bluestone said curtly.
“Ignore Mr. Bluestone, Doctor,” Redstone interjected at that moment. “He’s never been one for manners…as I know him to be.” He aimed this remark directly at Bluestone at that moment.
Bluestone seemed to take offence at that. “You think you know me so well, Redstone,” he said bitterly.
“I know you never take on instructions when I give them to you, sir!” Redstone replied, even more bitterly. “I tell you to do something…and you always mess it up!”
“That’s because you don’t give me a fair share of the rewards we receive from working at this school!” Bluestone protested abruptly. “It’s not fair, sir! If you want me to do good work, you should give me more of the rewards we gain!”
“I told you why you can’t have a half of the rewards we get, sir!” Redstone informed him. “You need to restrain yourself. You use up your half in an instant when I give it to you. Never saving like I do. You’re so impatient, Bluestone! Impatient!”
“That’s because I’m hungry,” Bluestone roared angrily. “I want food! And food is what I’m going to get!”
“On my terms only, Bluestone,” Redstone insisted.
“Not how I see it, Redstone you scoundrel!” Bluestone shouted.
I could see how this discussion was turning out. Whatever the rewards they were getting, it wasn’t good. I noticed how the children weren’t affected by the two gentlemen’s argument that is if they were gentlemen.
Bluestone was about to lunge for Redstone and attack him, before I intervened and stopped him.
“Please, gentlemen,” I interrupted. “If you two are to have an argument about your salaries here at his school, please do it after school hours. Not in front of the children. And certainly not in front of me! Do you understand?!”
Redstone and Bluestone looked at me with another cold stare. Somehow that seemed to get on my nerves. I couldn’t tell why. Yet somehow in that moment…I could sense something wrong about these two gentlemen. Something…unnatural! Evil! Kicking wild in that Time Lord brain of mine.
There was no apology given however. Redstone just said to me, “Shall we continue with the tour, Doctor!” He then turned back to Bluestone, “Continue with your class please, Mr. Bluestone.”
“Yes sir,” Bluestone replied scornfully. “Yes sir! Three bags full, sir!”
With that, Redstone showed me the way out of the classroom. “Shall we go and visit the school dormitory, Doctor,” he insisted.
I could tell Redstone wanted me out of the classroom. The way things were going between him and Bluestone, I suspect he wanted to avoid any further embarrassment.
Just as we were about to leave, I turned back to Bluestone and smiled cheerfully at him. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Bluestone,” I said. “I hope we’ll meet again at the end of the day.”
Bluestone didn’t answer. He just looked at me with bitterness. What had I done for him to dislike me so much, I wonder?
“This way, Doctor!” Mr. Redstone insisted again.
Eventually, I followed Mr. Redstone out of the classroom and into the corridor. I turned back to see Bluestone continue his lesson to the boys in the classroom. The boys remained quiet and looked so pale, whilst being taught Latin by Mr. Bluestone. Once out, Redstone escorted me upstairs where for me I would be revisiting the school dormitory. I hoped to get some questions answered once we got there.
It didn’t take me and Billy long to carry the poor little schoolboy into the TARDIS. Once inside, we carried him further to where the TARDIS sickbay was. The Doctor had it redecorated apparently. Billy laid the little boy onto a medical bed, whilst I began setting up the equipment to scan the boy’s medical condition. It took no less than several minutes.
“What do you think’s wrong with him then, Nyssa?” Billy asked inquisitively and concerned.
“I don’t know,” I replied, feeling apprehensive about this whole business. “But it’s clear the little schoolboy’s drained of energy, just like all the other schoolboys are here at this establishment. If we can find out what that drainage of energy is, we might be able to determine what it is we’re up against and tell the Doctor in order to find the source of the temporal energy spike.”
“I just can’t believe that these schoolboys would be reduced to this level,” Billy remarked. “Certainly school conditions of this time period were terrible, but the boys didn’t end up dead like these ones seem to be doing.”
“This isn’t natural then I take it,” I enquired.
“No,” Billy replied. He thought for a moment. “Perhaps it’s something to do with the schoolteachers. That one we met, Mr. Redstone, was very violent towards this poor little chap here, wasn’t he?”
I placed the scanner apparatus over the schoolboy on the medical bed whilst Billy was talking away. I activated the apparatus, pressing a few buttons to commence an initial body scan on the boy. The scanner whirred away quietly whilst Billy and I waited for the result.
“You don’t like this period of Earth history, do you?” I asked Billy.
Billy grimaced for a moment. “I just don’t like schoolchildren being treated this way as they were back then in Victorian times. It’s cruel and painful for the children.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “I don’t like it much either. I’m sorry you had to go through something like that at your school, Billy.”
Billy shrugged. “Oh it was just Mr. Lewis we had to be afraid of,” he remarked. “The other schoolteachers were nice. Mr. Lewis always had the cane with him when we were in the classroom with him. I wondered why he had such Victorian views about him.”
A moment of silence ensued. Billy then perked up and looked at me hopefully.
“I’m sure that school for you wasn’t like that in your time, Nyssa,” Billy remarked. “On Traken, I mean.”
“I didn’t have much of a school to go to, Billy,” I replied. “Mostly I had a tutor teaching me when I was growing up. As well as my father.” I then reflected rather sadly at that moment. “I never got the chance to interact with other children on Traken as I would have liked.”
The sadness must have shown on my face. Billy clearly saw it. “Oh,” he said, seemingly ashamed. “I’m so sorry, Nyssa. I didn’t realise.”
No reason why he should, I thought. I was about to tell him so, before the scanner bleeped loudly and interrupted us.
“The scanner’s finished. The result’s coming through,” I announced.
I began to check the scanner result on the output screen of the apparatus. It took a little while to absorb the data and information coming in on the screen. What I saw unnerved me and it chilled me to the bone.
I must have been distracted and disturbed for quite some time, as Billy caught my attention concerned.
“Nyssa?” he asked. “What is it? What does the scanner result say?”
It took me a while to pull myself together and snap out of it. I eventually composed myself and looked directly at Billy to tell him what the scanner said. “The result’s being disturbing, Billy,” I told him. “I can see now why this boy’s energy levels are low. It must be for the other schoolboys. His globulin levels have a low deficiency. I don’t know how long this has been going on for. A critical while I should imagine.”
Billy seemed confused. “I don’t understand,” he stated. “What’s globulin, Nyssa?”
It took me a moment to compose myself again. “Globulin is a protein within the blood vessels of human and humanoid bodies. There should be a group of globulin proteins in all our bodies to survive. This boy happens to have a low level of it somehow.”
“Blood,” Billy remarked, astonished. “So this boy is low on blood! How can that be?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “But it would explain why his complexion is so pale and death-like. And why his energies have been drained.”
“So what do we do then?” Billy asked. “Can we give him some blood in order to recover? To get these…globulin levels back up to speed?”
“I’m not sure it’s that simple, Billy,” I told him. I then thought for a moment. “The Doctor will know what to do. We must tell him what we’ve discovered.”
“But we can’t leave the poor chap here like this in the TARDIS, Nyssa,” Billy insisted. “He’ll die if he’s low on blood.”
“We won’t leave him like this, Billy,” I informed him. “Of course we won’t! First, we’ll put him in a cryogenic chamber we have aboard the TARDIS. That should freeze his condition until we can work something out.”
“Oh good,” Billy said relieved. “Good!”
“Then we go and find the Doctor and tell him what we’ve discovered,” I declared. “Come on! Help me carry this boy to where they keep the cryogenic chambers here aboard the TARDIS.”
Billy didn’t argue, as he began to scoop the schoolboy into his arms and carry him out of the medical bay. I lead the way, escorting Billy to where I knew where the cryogenic chambers aboard the TARDIS were.
It didn’t take us long to place the little boy into one of those TARDIS’ cryogenic chambers and store him there for the time being. We were eventually out of the TARDIS and on our way back to meet the Doctor, who was probably still being given a tour by Mr. Redstone around the school. But we didn’t know where the Doctor was at that moment. He could have been anywhere in this school. Nyssa and I had trouble trying to find our way back downstairs and finding the classroom where we last left the Doctor with Redstone. It was then we realised that we were lost.
We eventually entered the kitchens of this school somewhere on the ground level. As soon as we entered, we could see the conditions of the place. They were grimy and untidy. There was also a stench of death about the place…as well as the stench of blood. It was disgusting. I felt like I was going to be sick…and so was Nyssa.
“This place stinks,” I declared, too loudly despite myself. “Where’s it coming from?”
Nyssa struggled to regain her breath as she was about to speak. “I imagine it’s coming from the leftovers of school dinners they have in this place,” she remarked.
“But what could they have to eat to make the kitchens smell so vile?” I asked. “I didn’t think they would have much for the schoolboys. Just bread and gruel. At least that’s what I remember them having from reading ‘Oliver Twist’. The grown-ups usually got the best food about the place.”
But I noticed that Nyssa wasn’t paying any attention to me. She was distracted by something. Something troubled her.
“Nyssa?” I asked, concerned. “What is it, Nyssa? What’s wrong?”
It took a while before Nyssa could answer. “Billy,” she said. “Can’t you see? On the table before you! Look!”
I looked to see the kitchen table before us. There were slabs of meat on plates before us.
“Yes,” I replied. “There’s slabs of meat on the table, Nyssa. Is that where the stench’s coming from…?”
“Look under the plates,” Nyssa interrupted me. “There, see? Clear as daylight; and bright as red.”
Then I saw what had troubled Nyssa. And it disturbed me greatly. The red stuff on the table were pools of blood. Thick, greasy blood sprawled about on the kitchen table untidily. I did my best to not to go green at that point. I struggled to keep back the bile within my throat. I’m not sure how Nyssa coped though.
“Blood,” I managed to say, stifling a cough inside me. “Pools of blood.” I took another moment to regain myself. “How can there be so much of it on the kitchen table? And what it’s doing here? Could it have come from those slabs of meat then?”
“The question is,” Nyssa began, “what was it the meat came from? And what do the kitchen staff here in this school have to say about leaving piles of raw meat with blood sprawled about on the table.”
“As a matter of fact,” I remarked. “Where are the kitchen staff? We haven’t seen anybody ever since we came downstairs and entered here.”
“Perhaps they’re in another part of the school,” Nyssa replied. “Close to where the kitchens are.”
Eventually, Nyssa made her way around the kitchen table, past the vile stench coming from the meat and blood, and approached one of the doors in the far corner of the room. She examined it for a moment, before turning to face me.
“Billy, come over here,” she insisted.
I did as she said and went over to join Nyssa at the door before us. It was a pretty plain door with a shade of green painted over it. The door looked like it had seen better days.
“You think the kitchen staff are behind that door?” I asked Nyssa. “Whatever room it leads into that is?”
“I’m not sure,” Nyssa stated truthfully. She made forward to touch the door, before stopping herself for a moment. She turned back to me.
“Let’s find out, shall we?” she asked.
“I’m game if you are,” I replied, although I wish I hadn’t said that as I felt grim and queasy by that point, from the stench and sight of blood.
Nyssa eventually touched the door and grabbed hold of the doorknob. She turned it and began to open the door. The door swung open quite easily outwards as Nyssa pulled it. Once Nyssa had opened the door, we looked to see what was inside. All we could see was blackness inside the opening where the door had been. There was also the sound of a faint humming coming from down below. We also saw some stone steps leading downwards.
“This must lead down to the cellar,” I remarked perhaps too eagerly. “It must be.”
“Let’s go and find out what’s down there shall we, Billy?” Nyssa asked.
I grimaced at that. “I wish you hadn’t said that, Nyssa,” I replied. “We don’t know what could be down there.”
“Come on, Billy,” Nyssa said to me reassuringly. “I need you to be brave for me. Will you do that for me please?”
I could see the look in Nyssa’s eyes at me. She must be as terrified as I was and she needed my support to accompany her on this dangerous endeavour to go down into the dark cellar below. How could I refuse her?
“Alright,” I said gradually. “I’ll keep you company.” I took a deep breath. “Let’s go down there and find what it’s about shall we?”
Nyssa then held my hand and stroked it gently to reassure me. I never felt Nyssa stroke my hand like that before. It was very…it made me happy at that moment. And it made me feel good about myself.
We eventually headed off down into the cellar. Nyssa lead the way.
Mr. Redstone and I eventually entered the schoolboys’ dormitory. It did seem to take forever to find the dormitory and where Nyssa, Billy and I left the TARDIS. I wondered whether the old girl would still be there once we entered the dormitory. Fortunately she was. That was a relief! Mr. Redstone didn’t seem to question the presence of the TARDIS in the schoolboys’ dormitory either, which was…interesting, if not unusual. I wondered how Nyssa and Billy were doing. I hoped they were okay.
The schoolboys that Nyssa, Billy and I found earlier were still lying on the beds as when we found them. Mr. Redstone spread his arms out to present the schoolboys on the bed to me, as if he were treating them as trophies or something far worse.
“Well Doctor?” Redstone began. “You see our finest examples of schoolboys on their way to become graduates of higher education. They all sleep in their beds before they can restart their education further. Does that not please you?”
I frowned at Redstone on this. I wasn’t sure whether he was being serious or making a joke out of it.
“It’s still school hours, Mr. Redstone,” I informed him. “How can you have schoolboys sleeping on their beds in the dormitory whilst there are school classes still going on downstairs?”
“We have…” Redstone started, pausing for breath. It seemed that he choosing his next words carefully. “…certain rest periods of teaching for our specific sets of pupils at this school, Doctor. It’s a new method we’re trying out in our curriculum.”
“Really,” I said, unconvinced. I’m sure Redstone gathered from the tone of my voice that I didn’t believe a word he said.
I then knelt down to inspect one of the school boys lying on his bed. I checked his pulse as well as his temperature on his forehead. I could feel something there…but it was pretty faint. Pretty faint indeed!
I then looked back up to face Redstone. “This school of yours seems to be very quiet, Mr. Redstone. Deathly quiet in fact!”
“Is that so?” asked Mr. Redstone, not seeming to care or be troubled by this remark I’ve made. I then checked the boy’s condition on the bed. His condition was getting serious. I couldn’t put up with this any longer.
I stood up to challenge him. “Doesn’t it worry you that your boys are looking pale and ill in this stale atmosphere of yours, Mr. Redstone?” I knew that the tone of my voice was rising. “This is something I don’t approve of. I can assure you that the health inspection board will see to it that you are made fully responsible and pay for any compensation caused for these children to suffer like this.”
“You would dare to threaten my dignity as well as my status for these low grade boys at this school of mine, Doctor?” Redstone asked, in quite a disregarding manner. “They have nothing, Doctor. They are nothing. I wouldn’t think my reputation will be damaged by me to pay schoolboys such as this.
I couldn’t believe the disregard and contempt Redstone seemed to have for these boys. I couldn’t restrain my anger further.
“You would sacrifice your reputation; your life; your career for these schoolboys! Not to pay any compensation for them or consider their health and well-being?” I then showed one of the boys to Redstone right in front of him. “Can’t you see from the look of him?!” I demanded instantly. “This boy’s dying. As for all the other schoolboys here! They’re all dying!”
“Good,” said Mr. Redstone ruefully. “And once they’ve all died, we’ll have new schoolboys coming in for us to teach. That will be most rewarding and something to look forward to wouldn’t it?”
I found myself shaking my head in disbelief. “I can’t believe I’m hearing this,” I stated. “You really mean what you say, don’t you? You have no regard for life at all!”
“What is life,” Redstone began to ask, “when you’ve been given the gift to live forever and not have a care in the world for anyone?!”
I looked at Redstone rather strangely at that point. What he just said made my blood chill to the bone. I began to suspect that Redstone was not all he appeared and that he was hiding something. Something very dangerous indeed!
“What do you mean, Mr. Redstone?” I began to ask. “Tell me, what do you mean?”
Just then, one of the schoolboys groaned a bit. It was the same one I examined earlier on in the bed bunk beside me. I knelt down beside him again to check his condition. The boy’s breathing was pretty shallow and it seemed like he didn’t have an ounce of life left in him.
“Hello?” I began to ask the little boy on the bed. “Are you alright? Can you hear me?”
The boy didn’t seem to answer. He was slumbering into sleep. But I guessed that there was something more to it than that. The boy had very little life left in him by his pale reflection. I had to make sure he stayed awake. Just for a little while longer, if need be.
“Little boy,” I began saying, trying to call out to him. “Little boy, please awake up! It’s alright! There’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking after you! Please, hear me! I’m the Doctor!” I then paused for breath for a moment. I could see the boy’s condition was getting worse. I repeated what I said very slowly and stressed on the words I had used.
“Please,” I stressed. “I’m the Doctor! Trust me! I’m the Doctor!”
But the words I said had very little effect on the poor little chap. Soon…and with growing grimness…I saw the boy before me breathing his last as he slumped his head onto the pillow of his bed. He made no sound. No complaints or groans. He simply breathed his last.
I was shocked and appalled by what I’d just seen. The little boy had just died. He was now a pale white, empty shell. And all Mr. Redstone could do was smile and look so smug when I looked up at him.
“He’s dead now, Doctor,” Mr. Redstone announced. “Poor little lad. Not much chance of him ever graduating is there? Ah well, there’s still more boys left to teach at this school, isn’t there?”
I turned away from looking at Redstone. I didn’t let him see my disgust. I was sickened by the loss of life and the total disregard for what had been caused by Redstone himself.
“What kind of money do you get paid for your services to the education establishment?” I asked Redstone at that point in a quiet tone. He made no response. “Answer me!” I shouted abruptly.
Redstone breathed deep before giving his answer to me. “Blood money,” he then said. “That’s what Mr. Bluestone and I get paid with! Blood money!”
At that time, I wasn’t sure what he meant. I wish I worked it out sooner. It could have helped with defeating these vile impersonations of Victorian school teachers sooner than expected.
Billy and I soon found ourselves down in the cellar. It was pretty dark by the time we reached the bottom of the stairs. That humming sound was still going on. I could hear it clearly now. Billy and I moved cautiously as we went on further into the dark to reach the source of where that humming was coming from.
I noticed that Billy wasn’t chatting up to me as he usually does when we head off into dangerous territory. I found how I missed that to keep me reassured and unafraid. I also noticed how preoccupied Billy was. It seemed like his mind was on something else. He’d been like that ever since we left Bath. He didn’t chat to me when we were dancing in the Assembly Rooms during the second half of the evening in seventeen ninety-seven. I wondered what was troubling him. Could it have been me? Had I said something to upset him or worry him? I couldn’t work out what it was he was preoccupied with at the time.
We then saw a faint light at the end of the corridor as we turned around the corner.
“Billy,” I cried. “Look! Up ahead!”
Billy saw where I was pointing. A moment of silence ensued as we contemplated our next step.
“Should we go forward and see what’s there?” Billy asked, not really wanting to venture forth as I could tell by the sound of his voice. Billy needed to be brave and I had to be there for him.
“We need to find out what it is, Billy,” I reassured him.
Billy had a moment to think for himself, before he eventually shook his head.
“Come on then,” he said bravely. “Let’s get it over with.”
For some reason, I found myself holding Billy’s hand. I wasn’t sure why. But I didn’t question it, as we went forward to face what the faint light was at the end of the corridor.
We eventually entered into what looked like a big chamber. The light was coming from the ceiling and the humming was emanating from this huge generator situated in the centre of the room. It looked pretty advanced and sophisticated for its time. Not something I would expect to appear in a nineteenth century boarding school in London. Too primitive. Too anachronistic.
Billy seemed to be agreeing on the same wavelength as I was. “What’s this thing doing here then?” he asked incredulously. “The teachers of this school can’t have something as this in their time, can they? It looks…pretty alien to me. Rather futuristic.”
“It does,” I concurred. And then I thought of something. “Wait a minute,” I said, and then fumbled in my pockets for the temporal tracker given to me by the Doctor.
Billy looked back to me. “What is it, Nyssa?”
I had the temporal tracker in my hands pretty soon enough and switched it on. The tracker bleeped wildly, as it detected the emissions of the temporal energy spike we found earlier in the TARDIS. I raised my temporal tracker to the generator before us. Billy saw it too. We could clearly see where the source of the temporal tracker was coming from. And it was in plain sight.
“The generator,” I declared. “It’s the source of the temporal energy spike.”
“Are you sure?” Billy asked me.
“These readings are undeniable, Billy,” I replied. “There’s a high level of chronon particles emanating from the generator’s energy field. It’s rising up all the time. Probably it’s kept in a constant state of flux as well as in a loop to maintain the progressive level of energy required for a large temporal incident.”
It sounded pretty complicated the way I said it to Billy. But somehow, Billy was able to home in on what I said and understood what I meant by my words.
“You mean,” he realised, “that this generator is what caused the temporal convergence in the three time zones we were in in Bath. This generator is what gives it that power to make a temporal convergence like that happen.”
“Precisely,” Nyssa replied. “This must be the focal point. Although I’m guessing the temporal convergence is already happened by this point and stage of the operation.”
“What do you mean?” Billy asked, looking confused.
“Well for us, the temporal convergence in Bath’s three time zones has already happened,” I began to explain. “But here now, the temporal convergence is already happening whilst the Doctor, you and I are trying to rescue Jane Austen and the whole of Bath in its three time zones.”
“But it was Jane Austen who stopped the temporal convergence completely,” Billy replied. “By denying Sulis Minerva’s existence.”
“Exactly,” I declared for Billy’s sake. “The trigger for the temporal convergence to end must be when someone denies Sulis Minerva’s existence. The supposed water deity was a manufactured being out of pure energy.” I paused for a moment to think, before saying my thoughts out loud. “But what would create such a being like that out of pure energy anyway. Or who should I say?”
These questions were way above my understanding of the science I knew. And they were way above Billy’s understanding too.
“What are they using to keep the generator going then,” Billy then asked. “What fuel? Coal; steam; electricity; water?”
I pondered that point that Billy made. That was actually a very good point. And I told him so.
“Let’s find out shall we?” I suggested. “The generator door there on the right. I’m sure it’s where they keep the energy fuel stored to make the generator work.”
Soon, Billy and I made our way over to where the generator storage chamber was on the right. We didn’t know what to expect as we opened the storage chamber to look inside. We should have known better. As soon as we opened the chamber door, we got a horrible surprise waiting for us.
We looked inside and saw the storage chamber full…of blood. I felt disgusted. Billy sounded sick. I couldn’t blame him. We stood back away from the chamber in horror, closing the door soon afterwards once we saw what we had seen. It took us quite a while to get out of our state of shock. We just couldn’t believe what we’d seen.
“Blood,” Billy then said, aghast. “They’re storing blood to fuel the generator to keep this temporal convergence in Bath going. How can this be? Why are they using blood?”
I found it difficult to speak my thoughts aloud after experiencing such revulsion. “I don’t know,” I eventually replied. “But it’s horrible. Evil. Ghastly.”
“But necessary I assure you, dear madam,” said a new voice.
Billy and I jumped out of our skins as we turned to look and see a new person before us. It was a school teacher. At least I assumed he was. He was wearing the same school clothes that Mr. Redstone was. He even looked like Redstone, except he had some hair on the top part of his upper lip. A moustache I believe Billy called it to me.
“Who are you?” Billy demanded, keeping his fear intact. “What do you want? How dare you creep upon us like that?”
“How dare I?” the man then said to us. “How dare you come down here into this cellar where it is forbidden for anyone to enter, except for myself and my colleague Mr. Redstone?”
“We’re school inspectors,” I insisted on telling him. “We have a right to access any part of the school we wish.”
“Not this place, I’m afraid,” the man then said. He then put on a slimy grin which I did not like at all. He seemed to take a particular interest in me. “Still it doesn’t matter,” he went on. “You’re here now, the pair of you. And you’re not going to leave this place ever! Not on my watch.”
Billy and I felt suddenly afraid, as we embraced each other arm-in-arm to give ourselves comfort.
“You haven’t answered our questions,” Billy said. “Who are you? What do you want?”
“Me,” the man replied. “I am Mr. Bluestone, a master of the school here. And as for what I want…”
He paused for a moment.
“Yes?” I asked anxiously.
Bluestone then looked at me again, with a sly gleam in his eyes and that same unnerving interest in me which put me off.
“I want you, dear lady,” he declared. “I want…to have…your blood!”
Bluestone then raised a cane he was holding in his hand. It was like the same cane that Redstone used on earlier to attack the schoolboy we saw earlier in his classroom. Bluestone grinned gleefully as he made his advance towards me and Billy, especially on me. I backed away, trying to take Billy with me as Bluestone made his advance towards me.
“Keep away!” I demanded, pleadingly. “Keep away from me!”
I just couldn’t stand by and let Nyssa get manhandled by this creep who just entered the cellar. Without hesitating, I immediately made my move to stand in front of Nyssa and face the creep Bluestone before me.
“You stay back, you jerk,” I cried. “Leave Nyssa alone or I’ll…I’ll…”
“Or what?” Bluestone said challengingly to me.
I knew I was a young boy and he was a man experienced in years to me. But would that stop me from defending Nyssa? The woman I loved so much?
“Or I’ll do something to you that you’ll regret,” I declared boldly. I must have sounded lame the way I said that to him.
It didn’t seem to work anyway. Bluestone chuckled as he was continuing to make advances towards me and Nyssa.
“Get out of my way, boy!” Bluestone declared. “The young woman is mine! I must have her! I must have her blood!”
Nyssa trembled as she stood behind me whilst I protected her. I raised my fist clenched high up, about to strike a blow onto Bluestone’s chin.
“Oh no, you don’t,” I shouted. “Leave Nyssa alone!”
I was about to make a strike onto him. But fortunately I didn’t need to. As soon as my fist was in close contact with his face, Bluestone backed away from me and Nyssa immediately. He fell to the floor, looking up at me afraid and astonished. He then let out a howl of utter rage and wretchedness. I couldn’t understand what had got Bluestone into this state.
“I didn’t touch you,” I protested. “I didn’t strike one blow onto your chin, mate!”
Bluestone however was angry as he hissed at me very aggressively, like he was some sort of animal.
“What are you?” he demanded. “How can you have so much faith?! So much faith…against me?!”
“Faith?! I asked, perplexed. “What are you on about?”
“Billy,” Nyssa then said, as she gently held onto my shoulder, indicating Bluestone’s state on the floor. “Look at him, Billy! Look!” she declared.
I looked and saw what was happening. Bluestone had just looked away from us onto the floor. He seemed to be in some sort of pain. As if he was about to have a fit or seizure. Bluestone then looked up at us again. He then opened his mouth and snarled wildly at us. Nyssa and I could see what was inside his mouth. He had fangs! Sharp fangs inside his teeth! I couldn’t believe it! I hoped we’d never meet these sorts of creatures in our TARDIS travels, the Doctor, Nyssa and I.
“You…” I began to say, but I was still overcome with shock. “You can’t be,” I eventually said. “You simply can’t be!”
“Vampire!” Nyssa then said. “He’s a vampire, Billy! We’re dealing with vampires here!”
“Vampires?!” I exclaimed, shaking my head not wishing to believe it. “I hate these guys!”
At that moment, a door opened behind us. Nyssa looked back to see what it was…or whom it was that entered the room. I kept my eyes fixed on Bluestone, who was still snarling with those nasty wisdom teeth of his.
“What is it, Nyssa?” I asked her. “Who is it that has just come in?”
“It’s the kitchen staff, Billy” Nyssa replied. I sensed she was frightened by something. What it was, I was about to find out.
“Why, what’s wrong with them?” I asked Nyssa.
“There’s just like the way Mr. Bluestone is on the floor!” Nyssa replied. “They’re vampiric as well.”
“Great!” I then said sarcastically. “Vampires in a Victorian boarding school to deal with! This couldn’t get any worse!”
“We have to leave, Billy!” Nyssa then said. “We have to escape and get back to the Doctor!”
“What can he do?” I then asked incredulously. “Has the Doctor dealt with vampires before?”
“Yes, Billy!” Nyssa replied.
I wasn’t expecting a positive answer as that. “What?” I said, astonished.
“The Doctor will know what to do, Billy!” Nyssa insisted. “We must find him! Come on!”
We were about to make a run for it and head back upstairs to where we entered the cellar from in the kitchen. But our way was soon blocked. In an instant, Bluestone jumped…no, he flew…up to where we were making for the stairs up out of the cellar. We were just at the foot of the stairs when he looked up to see Bluestone before us.
Everyone else began to laugh mockingly and so did Bluestone, who looked down on us from high. Nyssa and I trembled and we both embraced each other, as we found ourselves trapped and surrounded by these horrible beings.
Bluestone eventually stopped laughing and smirked at us, through his fang-filled grin. He then spoke and what he said chilled me to the bone. “You’re not going anywhere, our pretties! Soon…it will be time for you two to become feasted. We shall have both your blood!”
Bluestone then laughed again. I could feel Nyssa holding tighter to me, as we both feared for our lives with these vampires surrounding us.
Redstone was still being unbelievably cavalier with this whole business regarding the recent schoolboy’s death and the other schoolboys on the verge of it. I couldn’t seem to knock any sense into the man to listen to me. It was like he didn’t want to listen to reason or consider that what he was doing was wrong and immoral. He seemed to delight in the boys’ slow demise.
I then started on working things out for myself. I came to a conclusion which I knew was pretty obvious, but needed stating.
“I surmise that the drainage of energy from the boys at this school,” I began, “as well as the sudden boy’s death, is somehow connected to the source of the temporal energy spike.” I then focused my next question onto Redstone, challenging him. “Is that right, Mr. Redstone?!” I asked.
Mr. Redstone didn’t say anything at that moment. He simply smiled a sinister smile, with a smug air about him.
“You can surmise what you like, Doctor,” he replied. “You won’t prevent us from achieving the purpose of this establishment.”
“Oh really?!” I said challengingly to him. “And I suppose the purpose of this establishment is not about schoolboys’ education as you want to advertise to prospective families, is it?”
“You are correct, Doctor,” Redstone replied. “Education has no purpose here. We don’t need it. My fellow colleague Mr. Bluestone and I, as well as the kitchen staff, are determined to keep our lives preserved and sustaining for a very long time. I know you disapprove, Doctor. But oppose me in any way possible and you do so forever!”
I eyed him coyly. “You seem to be making a threat to me, Mr. Redstone!” I said.
“I am,” he replied.
A moment of silence ensued. I breathed deep. “Is this the usual manner you adopt when dealing with school inspectors hey, Redstone?” I asked.
“You’re no ordinary school inspector,” Redstone said. “I can smell by your blood that you are more than just a man. In fact, you’re not even human. You’re something else entirely different.”
“Well,” I started coyly, “It goes to show there’s no accounting for taste.”
At that moment, I took out my temporal tracker. I switched it on and the tracker bleeped loudly. It was detecting the temporal energy spike at last. It wasn’t in the school dormitory with us, but it was definitely coming from below. On the lower levels perhaps.
“The tracker’s picking up the temporal energy spike at last,” I announced. “It must be down below on the ground floor or even in a basement. If you have a basement, that is.”
“We have a cellar thank you, Doctor.”
“Good, good.” I still had the temporal tracker on, but I faced Redstone straight in the eyes to speak to him. “You want to know something, Redstone?”
“Not particularly,” he replied.
But I ignored him. “I never liked how the teachers of schools in the nineteenth century treated their pupils. I read it all in the works of the great Charles Dickens himself in ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘Nicholas Nickleby’. But the fact that it actually happened in this time period truly disgusts me. The violence you inflict on poor children is inexcusable!”
“Have you finished yet, Doctor?” Redstone asked.
“But what you’re doing,” I continued, “with making these schoolboys suffer with a deathly pale complexion and allowing them to die on their beds in the school dormitory is abominable.” I paused for breath to compose myself, as I felt the anger rising in my voice at that moment. I managed to continue further. “I don’t know what you are or who you are, Redstone. But I intend to stop you by any means necessary. To save the children and stop this temporal energy spike that’s happening here in this school of yours!”
I was about to head off out of the school dormitory before Redstone followed me.
“Where are you are going?” he demanded.
“To re-join Nyssa and Billy,” I replied. “I imagine they’ve found something of significance already with that schoolboy they took to care for. They must still be in the TARDIS. I must go and find them!”
But before I could even leave the school dormitory and out into the corridor, a firm hand grasped me onto my left shoulder. It was Redstone’s hand. He tightened his grip harder on me. I could feel the pain surging through my body as he held me and I couldn’t help let out a scream of agony as he did so. I looked back to Redstone, seeing the glee on his face as he held me.
“No, Doctor,” he began. “You’re not going anywhere! Not of your own free will.”
I couldn’t help be astonished by the smugness of the man. The utter nerve of him. “What are you doing?” I demanded. “Please let go of me, Mr. Redstone! At once! You shouldn’t treat school inspectors this way, you know!”
“Your friends, Nyssa and Billy,” Redstone explained. “They’ll be waiting for you in the cellar. With my fellow brother and colleague, Bluestone, looking after them. As well as the kitchen staff.”
“What?!” I said, astonished. “Nyssa and Billy?! In the cellar already? How come…?”
“How come I know this already?” Redstone finished my question. He then chuckled. “All will be told in good time, Doctor. All in good time!”
It seemed that Redstone was determined not to let me escape after all. He then forced me to move forward as we headed out of the dormitory.
“Come on! Move, Doctor!” he demanded.
Just as we were heading out, we passed a mirror on the far side of the wall of the dormitory. I glanced at myself in the mirror with Redstone behind me. But I then realised…that Redstone’s reflection wasn’t in the mirror at all. It was just me. It was like Redstone was invisible behind me, but I could still see him there. I turned to look back at him. I wish I hadn’t.
There, I could see behind me was Redstone…showing his teeth at me, his mouth wide open. There were fangs! Fangs in his teeth! Sharp as steel! I soon realised what all of this was about.
Redstone laughed. “Yes,” he declared. “We are, Doctor! We are! And all the children at the school will be our supper for tonight!”
How could I have been so foolish?! I was thinking and reflecting this question as Redstone escorted me out of the school dormitory. It should have been obvious with all the signs in front of me. The pale-white school boys; the drainage of energy; the loss of blood and the cold manner of Mr. Redstone. The teachers and the kitchen staff of this school…were all vampires! Vampires! And I had to stop them! It was my duty…as a Time Lord to stop them.
The generator was still generating a lot of power as Billy and I stood in the cellar. I wondered how long the vampires were going to keep us in this cellar. I wondered why Billy and I weren’t dead yet. I was thankful we were still alive. The vampires however…the kitchen staff and Mr. Bluestone…were keen to get a bite out of me and Billy should we make one sudden move. I was glad to have Billy beside me as we embraced one another for comfort. I could feel how afraid Billy was, feeling his heartbeat pounding his chest. But at least we could both be afraid and brave together.
Billy suggested trying to make a run for it up the stairs and out of the cellar into the kitchens to get away. But I advised against this course of action. It seemed that the vampires would be too fast for us and any attempt to escape would be fatal if not disastrous.
“So what do we do then?” Billy then asked me. “How are we going to get out of this mess?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “Please keep calm, Billy! We’ll find a way out!”
Billy sighed, feeling very afraid. I couldn’t blame him for his anxiety. Then an unpleasant thought entered my head. I couldn’t let it be unspoken and not tell Billy what I thought.
“I just realised though, Billy.”
“What?” he asked.
“The slabs of meat that were on the kitchen table, with the blood sprawled underneath. I suspect that they…”
“They belong to some of the schoolboys who’ve been drained of energy and blood?” Billy finished for me.
“Yes,” I said, nodding my head.
“They feed on human meat?!” Billy said, shocked and disturbed.
“They are vampires after all, Billy,” I told him.
I shuddered what I had just said. Billy sounded as if he was going to be sick. I felt myself feeling sick too. But I held back the revulsion. So did Billy, thank goodness.
Bluestone then stepped forward towards us. I could see the gleam in his eyes.
“It is a necessary system,” Bluestone declared, triumphantly. “And an admirable one too. You should try it, dear lady. You…and your friend.”
“We would rather die than succumb to the likes of you,” I said defiantly to him.
“I don’t mind dying either,” Billy then added. “So long as we get out of this nightmare we’re in!”
Bluestone seemed to scoff at what we said. “Oh but you will become like us, you two! You soon will be. You will be a part of our great becoming. Our gathering here. Our fellowship…”
“Not if our lives depended on it, we won’t!” Billy retorted. “The idea of having fangs in my mouth and sucking blood by biting people on the neck is not my type of fun!”
“Oh but you don’t have to bite people on the necks,” Mr. Bluestone replied. “Oh no! That is not necessary!”
I stared at Bluestone, astonished. “What do you mean?” I asked him.
Bluestone then showed his cane to us. The cane he would use to strike on the schoolchildren as punishment.
“This cane here,” he explained, “allows me and Mr. Redstone to drain the blood energy from the boys whenever we strike to punish them. Their blood is stored in these canes, so that we can suck on the blood later and eat for ourselves.”
“So you use canes to drain the blood from your schoolboys to punish them!” I said, astonished and appalled. “That’s horrible!”
“It makes things less messy though, doesn’t it?” Bluestone replied.
“But if you use canes,” Billy then enquired, “why do you need fangs in your mouths? It’s not much use having them if you don’t want to bite people.”
“Oh boy,” Mr. Bluestone then laughed out loud. “The fangs in our mouths are necessary, of course! We use our fangs to suck the blood from the canes themselves. It makes the whole eating of human blood less messy as I said before. And it’s also more in a polite manner in today’s society than simply biting people on the neck, isn’t it?”
“You call sucking people’s blood ‘polite’,” I said, even more horrified and appalled. “You people disgust me! I wish never to be one of your kind! Never!”
But Bluestone ignored me as he sniggered away; seemingly to know what was best for me.
“You cannot resist me,” he then stated, as he looked at me in a hungrily sort of way that was very displeasing and frightening for me. “I want you, Nyssa of Traken,” he said to me. “I need your blood! I want to suck you dry from your body!”
He then began to make advances towards me. I felt terrified, but Billy stood in front of me quickly.
“You stay away from her,” Billy shouted at him. Even in those moments of fear, Billy still manages to brave it through to the end.
It seemed to work, as the vampiric Bluestone backed away from Billy again. Billy’s faith was protecting me well as it should.
“Stop this faith of yours, boy!” Bluestone shouted angrily at him. “Stay out of my way! I will not let you ruin my feast on the girl should you stand in my way!”
“My faith seems to be stopping you anyway,” Billy then declared. “You can’t harm Nyssa whilst I’m here. So don’t try anything, you…you vampy!”
Bluestone snorted as he looked up at Billy. “Oh believe me, I won’t try to,” he then said. “But the kitchen staff might!”
At that moment, the vampire-like kitchen staff began to advance closer towards me as they surrounded me and Billy. I trembled, as I could almost feel one of the kitchen staff…one of the young scullery maids I think it was…reach out her hand towards me.
Fortunately they didn’t get at me, as an old, familiar and reassuring voice shouted among the dinge of vampires and generator in the cellar.
“No,” he cried. “Leave my friends alone at once!”
Everyone looked up to see who had entered the cellar. The vampires were angry as they hissed angrily at the newcomers. It was the Doctor. Unharmed as far as I could see and very reassuring as ever. I was so pleased to see him still alive and well. Then my heart sank, as I saw who was escorting him into the cellar, down the stairs, from behind. It was Redstone. He was holding the Doctor firmly on his left shoulder and he had sharp fangs in his teeth too.
It wasn’t long that the Doctor was with me and Nyssa, once he and Redstone had come down the stairs to meet us on ground level. The Doctor, Nyssa and I were back together at last, as we were surrounded by these monsters. I was pleased we three were reunited with each other. But I wonder how we were going to escape these beasts; avoid having our blood sucked and become vampires like them. I didn’t like to lose my reflection in a mirror anyway.
“Nyssa; Billy,” the Doctor enquired. “They haven’t harmed you, have they?”
“No,” Nyssa replied. “These vampires can only suck the blood out of people by attacking us with their school canes. Fortunately Billy and I haven’t been attacked. But the children…”
“Yes,” the Doctor interceded. “They’re using the children’s blood supply to generate the power for the generator to initiate the temporal convergence. That’s what I assume you two were going to tell me, isn’t it?”
“We were also going to tell you that the blood levels were drained from that schoolboy we left in cryogenic stasis in the TARDIS, Doctor,” Nyssa told him. “Unfortunately these vampires have already confirmed what we already know.”
“Yes unfortunately,” the Doctor said. “It is a Time Lord’s duty to see that every vampire is destroyed, even at the cost of his own life. But at the moment, I don’t see how we’re going to defeat these Victorian vampires.”
“They react against me,” I then told him. “Bluestone seems to be afraid of some faith I have in me. I’m like a contagious disease to them…somehow.”
The Doctor looked at me astounded. “Faith,” he then said. “Faith! You had faith and the vampires reacted against you?!” He then grasped my shoulders, looking directly at me in the face. “Billy, that’s brilliant!”
“Brilliant?!” Nyssa said, astonished as I was. “How’s that so, Doctor?”
The Doctor didn’t answer Nyssa, as he focused his attention onto me. “Billy, what sort of faith do you have? Is it a Christian faith?”
I was astounded by the Doctor asking me such a question. “Yes it is,” I replied. “I’ve always believed in Jesus!” I then paused to think for a moment. “But also…”
“Yes,” the Doctor prompted me. “What is it, Billy?”
I gradually came up with a reply, conscious that Nyssa was standing next to me. “I suppose,” I began, “that Nyssa had something to do with it. I also believed in Nyssa when I was standing up to Mr. Bluestone the vampire here!”
“Faith in me?!” Nyssa said, even more astonished. “You had faith in me?!”
“Don’t you see, Billy?” the Doctor began to explain. “Faith is something that can easily destroy a vampire! Faith is the one thing that vampires can’t stand! It detests them! It erases them out of existence, just as a sharp wooden stake or a bright ray of sunlight would do!”
“What is it you’re trying to say to me, Doctor?” I asked him.
“Billy,” the Doctor continued. “Keep holding onto your faith! Both in your Son of God and in Nyssa! Keep holding onto it! Be strong and it will destroy these vampires completely, giving us a chance to escape!”
But before I could answer any more questions to the Doctor, we were interrupted by Redstone and Bluestone. They had the kitchen staff vampires behind them. All of them were grinning maliciously and mockingly against us.
“So Doctor,” Redstone began. “We have you and your friends in our custody! You can’t stop us now! The teaching of this establishment will go on! We will continue to enforce our punishment methods onto the children, suck the blood dry from them and continue to feed ourselves as well as this generator you see before you!”
“Yes,” the Doctor replied ruefully. “Very laudable, I’m sure. Just what is it you lot are planning, Redstone? What’s it all for? What’s the point?”
“We’re merely working towards a bargain we’ve agreed with a client of ours,” Redstone declared. “Serve in this school; teach and punish the children; then we can have half the blood supply whilst we store the other half in the generator to power up this…temporal convergence of his he wants to use in…a city called Bath…”
“Yes, yes,” the Doctor interrupted. “I know the details of that convergence very well.” He paused for breath by this point. “It’s too late, Redstone! The temporal convergence is over! We’ve sorted it out! Bath in its three time zones are safe! There is no way you can keep up this generator going for as long as you need to. No way at all!”
Redstone smirked in that rather smug way that I knew got on the Doctor’s nerves as well as mine. “You expect me to believe that, Doctor?!”
“Perhaps he is telling the truth, Redstone,” Bluestone interrupted him.
“Oh shut up, Bluestone,” Redstone retorted fiercely. “You’re no help at all!”
“Well perhaps I would help if you would stop belittling me all the time!” Bluestone bit back aggressively at Redstone.
“Just know your place, brother!” Redstone shouted. “You’ll get your share of the blood reward so long as you do as I say!”
“Yes,” Bluestone scoffed. “But by the time you’re distributing shares of the blood reward to everyone who is like us, I’ll have the short straw! Literally!”
“It’s no more than you deserve, you insignificant shrimp,” Redstone retorted.
“Not on my watch it isn’t,” Bluestone replied.
The Doctor then interrupted coyly, “Is this a private conversation or can anyone else participate in it?”
Redstone and Bluestone looked back at the Doctor. Moment of silence ensued, as they eyed the Doctor very closely.
“You say the temporal convergence is over for you and your friends, Doctor,” Redstone began. “But for me and Mr. Bluestone, it is already happening!”
“Then I will see to it that everything you do here today will be stopped,” the Doctor replied defiantly at them. “You won’t be sucking any more blood from anyone for a long time, Mr. Redstone and Mr. Bluestone!”
Redstone then chuckled out loud defiantly at the Doctor. “No, Doctor! You will not stop us in our purpose for today!” Redstone then turned to Bluestone. “Bring down all the children from upstairs, Bluestone!” he instructed. “They will all be made to give sacrifice to the greater cause. For our nourishment and for fulfilling our bargain with our client! Go to it now, Bluestone!”
Bluestone seemed as if he was about to protest. “Why me?! Why do I have to go to fetch the children?! Why can’t you do it yourself?!”
“Do as I say,” Redstone retorted. “Now, Bluestone! Or else I’ll let sunlight shine on your face!”
Bluestone grimaced at that. He then shrugged and became annoyed. “Very well!”
With that, Bluestone headed off out of the cellar as he made his way up the stairs. The Doctor then stepped forward to protest at Redstone.
“No, Redstone!” the Doctor protested. “You can’t do this! I won’t let you harm any more of those schoolboys today!”
“And just to add to the flavour of the proceedings,” Redstone continued. “Your friends shall be made to be given as sacrifices to the great cause with the children.” He then addressed one of the vampy kitchen staff. “Cook; Footman! Sedate the two young ones at once!”
“No!” the Doctor protested again. “Not on my friends, no!”
Before I realised what was happening, the cook and the footman were making for me and Nyssa on either side.
“Billy,” Nyssa cried to me. “Quick! Run for it! Don’t let them hit you!”
Without knowing what I was doing, I tried to make a run for it like Nyssa said. But it was too late. Something struck on the back of my head. It was at that moment, I couldn’t quite focus. I was struggling to concentrate. I found myself falling…falling…feeling drowsy all of a sudden. I then turned back to Nyssa.
“Nyssa,” I began to cry. But my voice sounded faint at that moment. “I…can’t…run for it. Something…hit me…really…hard…”
Through my drowsiness, I saw Nyssa falling to the floor too. She seemed to have been struck on the head by something as the cook towered over her. It must have been the footman who struck on the back of my head with…whatever it was. These were the last thoughts in my head, as I found darkness taking over me and I was slipping away into unconsciousness. Then…I knew no more.
I couldn’t believe what had happened to Nyssa and Billy and what Redstone had ordered the cook and the footman to do. They struck Billy and Nyssa on the head, without question, and pretty hard in my opinion with their blunt instruments. The cook had her saucepan and the footman had a pole. I tried to reach out to Nyssa and Billy and get to them on the floor. But I was held back by the rest of the kitchen staff. Somehow they anticipated I would react this way and wouldn’t allow me any privilege in checking to see whether Nyssa and Billy were alright. I hoped their heads weren’t too damaged from the way the cook and the footman hit them.
I then turned back to Redstone. I could feel the Time Lord blood boiling inside my body as I confronted him. “What have you done, Redstone?!” I cried. “Why did you do that to them?! To my friends?!”
“They will be sacrificed, Doctor,” Redstone replied. “Their blood and life-force will be drained as much as the boys will be. There’s no stopping us now, Doctor! We are powerful! All-knowing! Immortal!”
“You won’t get away with this,” I told Redstone. “It is the duty of every Time Lord to see that every vampire is destroyed! And nothing is going to dissuade me otherwise!”
“You think that your threats and declarations can scare us so easily, Doctor?” Redstone challenged me. I could see his red eyes glowing brightly and fiercely at me by this point. “There is a greater power that overrules us compared to you, Doctor! A power that is our salvation! He will grant us all that we desire! And desire the blood of our victims!”
“Whoever your client is, he’s got a deranged sense of morality,” I replied. “I presume he’s not a vampire like you, Mr. Bluestone or the other kitchen staff are. Is he, Redstone?!”
“We do all these things,” Redstone declared, “in the name of Salvador!”
I froze still at that point. It must have been shock! I couldn’t believe what Redstone had just said. Could it be true? Could he really have meant what he said? Is this the name of the client that he and the vampires served? It just couldn’t be! It just couldn’t…
“Salvador?” I asked. “Did you say Salvador, Mr. Redstone?”
Redstone ignored me as he turned to the rest of the kitchen staff in the cellar.
“Have the Doctor watched at all times, my dear brethren!” Redstone declared. “His friends, the girl Nyssa and the boy Billy, are to be sacrificed for the great cause. Along with the other school boys! They shall be caned whilst tied to the stakes. To be flogged as the Romans did to their prisoners long ago!” He paused for a moment, before looking wild in his eyes. “Tie them to the stakes this instant!” he commanded.
Two vampire kitchen staff – the same cook and footman I believe – took Nyssa and Billy up from the floor and began to drag them towards the stakes already placed beside the generator in the cellar. I struggled to try and break free. But the vampires kept holding me back in their firm grip.
“No,” I shouted in protest to Redstone. “You can’t do this, Redstone! You can’t! Let my friends and I go!”
“And have you to destroy us, Doctor?!” Redstone replied defiantly. “I don’t think so.”
“You must understand, Redstone!” I began to tell him. “Your vampire kind must never exist in this universe. You’re parasites; scavengers! If you continue to exist, you’ll bring the universe into ruin and chaos. That’s right! Not just Earth but the entire universe itself! The more you suck blood from planets dry then you’ll have nothing left, but an unending hunger that will never cease!”
“Be silent!” Redstone bellowed at me. I somehow managed to break his patience levels by this point. “Your words mean nothing to us,” he continued. “We have a right to exist! We serve our saviour and master! And he will give us long living life as we deserve!”
“If your master is who I think he is, Redstone,” I continued to tell him, “then his promises are nothing…”
“I said ‘BE SILENT!!!!” Redstone roared and he showed his fangs out by this point. The other vampires did the same as they showed their fangs towards me whilst holding me captive.
At that point, Bluestone returned as he escorted down the stairs a group of schoolboys behind him. The schoolboys looked worse for wear as they were clearly deathly pale and unable to keep focus as they walked down the stairs, following Bluestone.
“This way downstairs, boys,” Bluestone said to them as they walked downstairs. “This way!”
Redstone looked up and saw Bluestone leading the schoolboys down the stairs before reaching the foot of the staircase.
“Excellent,” Redstone congratulated him, for a change. “Excellent! Have the boys standing by next to the girl Nyssa and the boy Billy, whilst they’re being tied to the stakes.”
“Just as you say, Redstone,” Bluestone replied gloomily.
Bluestone had the pale-faced school boys lined up right beside Nyssa and Billy, who were still unconscious and getting tied up to the stakes beside the generator. I struggled again to break free, but it was of no use.
“Kitchen staff,” Redstone then barked out loud. “Have the generator activated at once! The full temporal convergence in Bath must be in its last stage. We must commence the drainage of more blood from these children, including our schoolboys and the Doctor’s two young friends. We must commence immediately…without delay! Understand!”
The vampire kitchen staff hissed and snarled, showing their fangs, as they responded to Redstone’s command. They made their way over to the generator in the cellar to activate it. If only there was a way of stopping what was going on with these vampires and the temporal convergence…
Wait! Wait just a minute! Did he say…the full temporal convergence was in its last stage in Bath? Nyssa, Billy and I! We witnessed the effects of the temporal convergence of Bath when we were there ourselves in all three time zones. We also knew how it ended. Maybe…Just maybe…Perhaps…
I found myself waking up after being knocked on the head pretty violently by one of the kitchen staff. I woke up to find myself tied to something. My hands were tied behind me. I couldn’t break free. As I came fully awake, I could see I was tied to a stake and vampire kitchen staff were advancing. It wasn’t just me though. Billy too was tied to a stake as well. He was still unconscious. I worried for Billy, hoping that he was still alright. I couldn’t tell how badly injured Billy was when he was struck on the head. But it must be serious, since he didn’t wake up at the same time as I did.
I tried to call out to him. “Billy,” I called. “Billy, can you hear me?! Billy, wake up!”
But it was no use. Billy wouldn’t wake up. I could see that we were about to be sacrificed by the vampires. Then I saw the Doctor. He too was in custody, watching me and Billy, with Redstone and Bluestone standing beside him. I could also see that they had the schoolboys, pale with complexion, laid out on tables…no, not tables…sacrificial altars. It must be for the drainage of blood to be transferred into the generator…by the vampires themselves.
“Doctor,” I cried out. But the Doctor didn’t seem able to break free. The vampires were too strong for him.
“It’s no use, girl,” the vampire Redstone said to me. “You and your young…’boyfriend’ are to be drained of blood just like the schoolboys are here. I delight in tormenting the weak and feeble. That’s what you and your Billy will end up being! Weak and feeble before you die!”
The vampire kitchen staff snarled and hissed with delight. I saw Redstone smirk with delight as he mocked me and Billy tied to the stakes. Bluestone however…he seemed apprehensive about what was happening. Unhappy, more like it.
I looked on anxiously at the Doctor, fearing the worst that all was not going to go well for the three of us. But he looked at me reassuringly and said, “Don’t worry, Nyssa! We all know what’s going to happen next, don’t we?! You know as much as I do. We were there when the temporal convergence happened in Bath! And how it ended!”
At first, I didn’t understand what he meant. It didn’t register with me immediately. I saw how the vampires were seemingly triumphant, as they cheered through their hisses and snarls.
It was at that moment I heard Billy waking up. I turned to look at him. He groaned looking disoriented as he woke up. I could see he was trying to regain his senses as he looked around in the cellar with the generator humming away loudly in the background.
“Nyssa,” he groaned, sounding slurry as if he were taken ill. “Nyssa, what’s happened? Where am I?”
I tried to reassure Billy as he woke up. “Don’t worry, Billy!” I told him. “Everything’s going to be alright. Just don’t panic whatever you do. The Doctor seems to think that everything will work out alright in the end. We have to trust him!”
It was at that moment I realised what the Doctor had meant. Before I could tell him what I believed to be the answer to this crisis, the generator stopped humming away. The temporal power had stopped. The generator was still functioning, but the power for the temporal convergence was over.
The vampires were surprised and astonished. They then attended to the control panels, checking that everything was in check and nothing had been overlooked to cause this error. They could find nothing wrong with the technology.
“What is this meaning of this?!” Redstone bellowed out loud. He turned to the Doctor angrily. “What have you done, Doctor?”
“Me?!” the Doctor replied innocently. “No, no. Not me, Mr. Redstone. It’s someone else who has caused this to happen, isn’t it? Someone in Bath in seventy nine AD; seventeen ninety-seven and two thousand and eleven!”
“What are you talking about?” Redstone demanded.
The Doctor looked at him directly in his eyes. “You overlooked something, Redstone. The temporal convergence may have been happening for you and your kind. But for me, Nyssa and Billy, it’s already happened. And we know who stopped it!”
“Jane Austen,” I declared triumphantly.
“Yes!” the Doctor replied. “Miss Austen, the author of six literary romance novels, caused the temporal convergence to end! Because she denied someone’s existence that was created by your master…or client as you say. That person was Sulis Minerva! The goddess of the waters of Sulis…or Aquae Sulis as it was known back in seventy-nine AD.”
Billy had just come round fully by this point. Fully awake, he had taken in what the Doctor had been saying. “And the generator shutting down now happened at the same time Jane Austen denied Sulis Minerva’s existence, didn’t it?” he said. “The power from the generator was what caused Sulis Minerva to exist from the waters of Bath!”
“Precisely, Billy,” the Doctor replied. “The blood that the vampires drained had been used up to give Sulis Minerva life as we know it! Except that scheme of things has backfired on you hasn’t it, Redstone?! Hmm?! You can’t stop it now! The temporal convergence is over! Your deal with your client has ended! You can’t go on with your vampirism at this school anymore now, can you?!”
Redstone looked as if he was about to erupt with rage. But he managed to restrain himself to look at the Doctor casually and rather smugly.
“No need for us to stay at the school, Doctor,” Redstone declared. “We vampires can live on forever…without our client. We will continue to devour the blood of our victims…on this pitiful planet…once and for all!”
“Not without this, I don’t think,” the Doctor replied.
Then I saw what the Doctor was holding in his hand. It was the Vegron medallion he acquired from our trip to Earth in nineteen sixty-three, two thousand and sixty-three and twenty-one sixty three. The time we first met Billy with the railway business! The Doctor switched the Vegron medallion on.
A whining, high-pitched sound echoed from the medallion. It caused the Victorian vampires – Redstone; Bluestone and kitchen staff to fall to the floor – shrieking with rage and pain. The medallion’s noise seemed to weaken them somehow.
The Doctor was able to break free from his vampire captors as he ran towards me and Billy, still tied to the stakes. Eventually, he managed to set us free and Billy and me were able to re-join the Doctor.
“Quick, you two,” the Doctor said urgently. “There isn’t enough time. We have to shut the generator down, before the remaining temporal convergence energy blows up the Earth. We also have to see to it that all three time zones in Bath are secure with the generator offline.”
“How are we going to do that then?” Billy asked. “Is it that simple? Shutting down the generator with the off switch?”
“No not quite I’m afraid, Billy,” the Doctor replied. He then turned towards me. “Nyssa! I’ll need your help with shutting the generator down.”
“I understand, Doctor,” I told him. “And willing!”
The Doctor then turned to Billy. “Billy, keep watch on our vampire friends. Take the medallion and hold it. It may not last long to weaken the vampires whilst they’re on the floor with me and Nyssa shutting down the generator.”
“Okay, Doctor,” Billy replied.
“Come on, Nyssa. Let’s do it!” the Doctor said and I followed him, making for the generator to shut it down.
I watched as the Doctor and Nyssa were shutting down the generator, as well as keeping watch on the vampires on the floor. They seem to struggle getting up, whilst I held the Vegron medallion in my hand with that sound going on. The sound seemed excruciating to these vampires. It was getting on my nerves too. I wondered how long we could keep this up with the Vegron medallion giving us a chance to stop the vampires and defeat them. If only the Doctor and Nyssa would hurry up with shutting down the generator.
I looked back at them to see how they were doing. It seemed pretty complicated the way they were working at it with shutting down the generator. I wished I could help. But I’m not as academically gifted as the Doctor and Nyssa were in their scientific expertise and knowledge. I wondered how they managed to cope with my lack of scientific understanding.
Just then, Nyssa and the Doctor seemed to be winning.
“I’ve think we’ve done it, Doctor,” Nyssa declared. “I think we’ve managed to find a way to shut it down.”
“Good! Well done, Nyssa,” the Doctor replied. “Let’s get this generator shut down immediately before…”
Just then, we were interrupted. A sound of movement echoed and I turned back just in time to see Redstone and Bluestone on their feet. They struggled to maintain their balance, whilst the noise from the Vegron medallion continued to sound.
“Doctor,” I cried, warning him and Nyssa. “I’m afraid we’ve got a problem here.”
The Doctor and Nyssa acknowledged my warning, as we saw Redstone and Bluestone holding their canes in their hands, ready and about to strike. They were going to attack me, Nyssa and the Doctor and drain our blood! I was determined not to let that shudder me in front of the vampire schoolteachers.
“Move away from that generator, Doctor; young lady,” Redstone demanded, whilst holding his cane in his hand. “You will not shut it down! Not on our watch!”
The Doctor moved away from the generator where Nyssa was as he approached Redstone and began to speak to him. “Redstone! Mr. Redstone, listen to me!”
“Don’t try to dissuade me, Doctor!” Redstone replied. “I will use this cane to attack you and your friends! Both me and Bluestone! We will use them to drain your blood!”
“Redstone, listen to me,” the Doctor insisted. “Nyssa and I have to shut down the generator. There’s a high level of temporal feedback being fed back into the generator. That’s the remaining energy of the temporal convergence which has failed. We need to shut the generator down in order to prevent an explosion. An explosion that will wipe out the entire Earth if not the whole galaxy!”
“Do you think I care about that, Doctor?” Redstone retorted. “Once you’ve shut down the generator, you’ll only continue to see us destroyed! To cancel out our existence!”
“That’s right!” the Doctor replied defiantly. “Because you and your kind don’t deserve to exist! You’re vampires; parasites; entities that only live on chaos and disorder. If I allow you to live, you’ll be an abomination to the entire universe! And I will not allow that to happen!”
“Just why I won’t let you shut down the generator, Doctor!” Redstone replied. “If we go, Doctor…my vampire kind and I…we all go together! We all die in oblivion!”
“No!” Bluestone then cried out loud.
Redstone looked at him astonished. “What?!” he demanded aggressively to Bluestone.
Bluestone looked back at Redstone. “I must have the lady Nyssa! I must have her!” He looked at Nyssa rather hungrily at this point. “She is mine! I must have her blood! She must be mine…forever and forever!”
“Stop this violent love you have for petty mortals,” Redstone scoffed at him. “They’re not worth being interested about. They’re worthless! Don’t even try to win her affections towards you, brother!”
“I don’t care,” Bluestone cried out loud. “I’m going to have my lady Nyssa…forever!”
With that, Bluestone made a charge towards Nyssa. Nyssa backed away as Bluestone was about to fly towards her.
I couldn’t let Bluestone get to her. Dropping the Vegron medallion to the floor beside me, I stood in the way of Bluestone’s aim for Nyssa as he flew forward. I focused, concentrating my sight on Redstone…and believed. Believed in my saviour…the Son of God. And also in Nyssa, who I loved so much. It didn’t matter she didn’t know it yet. I loved her all the same.
Then I shouted at Bluestone, “You stay away from her! Leave Nyssa alone!”
Bluestone took one look at me as he flew forwards. I tried not to be afraid, as long as I had my faith. Then with one instant of a second, Bluestone shrieked out in rage and pain, as she crumbled into dust before me. The dust fell onto the floor. He was gone. I cancelled him out completely. I was relieved…and amazed at how my faith just worked.
Then I saw Redstone looking angrier than ever before. He still had his cane in his hand as he held it. He raised it up high and let out a shriek of rage, charging towards me.
“You killed my brother,” Redstone shouted out loud. “I won’t allow you to get away with that! NEVER!!!”
I had to be strong for this again. If only to see to it that Nyssa and the Doctor were still alive by the end of this. I kept my faith strong. Both in Jesus first and in Nyssa. And also…the Doctor.
It seemed to work. As Redstone charged forward towards me, he crumbled into dust in an instant. His dust remains fell into where Bluestone had crumbled to dust on the floor as well. I never felt so relieved about anything in all my life.
Once the two vampire schoolteachers were gone, I turned back to Nyssa and the Doctor. They were both surprised by what I’d done, but also very relieved indeed.
“Good work, Billy! Well done,” the Doctor said gratified. He then turned back to Nyssa and said, “Right then, Nyssa! Go ahead! Let’s shut down this generator as you suggest we can!”
“Yes, Doctor,” Nyssa replied. Then he turned towards me. “Well done from me too, Billy! I’m pleased you managed to sort out those vampires when you could.”
I shrugged and said, “Oh…I’m pleased I did it too, Nyssa. Never knew I had it in me.”
“Come on, Nyssa,” the Doctor then said impatiently. “Help me to shut the generator down before it’s too late.”
“Right, Doctor,” Nyssa replied.
Eventually, Nyssa and the Doctor managed to shut down the generator the way they knew how. It took them about a few seconds to do it. The generator gradually died. It shut down completely. Don’t ask me to explain the details. I found it complicated enough when the Doctor explained it to me.
It was a huge relief for Nyssa, the Doctor and me when we saw we had succeeded in the generator powered down. As we regrouped together as a threesome, we then saw something very unusual in the cellar. The kitchen staff…that were once vampires…had somehow reverted back to nice-looking, normal humans again. They seemed dazed and confused about what had just happened. I couldn’t understand it myself either.
“Doctor, what’s happening?” I asked. “How come the kitchen staff…?”
“They’ve reverted back to human form,” Nyssa finished what I was trying to point out. She seemed to know the answer already. “With Redstone and Bluestone destroyed, their vampirism has gone. They were connected to them whilst they were converted as vampires. Weren’t they, Doctor?”
The Doctor shook his head and said “Hmm!” in reply. He then looked to see the children on the sacrificial altar.
“And look, you two,” he said. “The schoolboys! They’re getting back to normal, aren’t they? They’ve regained some colour and are waking up quite quickly!”
This was true. The once death-like pale boys of the school were now waking and looking a lot better than they were before. It seemed like the blood that was stolen from the vampires was given back to them…somehow. From the temporal energy of the generator, perhaps? The Doctor seemed to think so. But it didn’t show, did it? The schoolboys were recovering back to normal! Nyssa, the Doctor and I were delighted about that.
I finish my report to the Time Lords of Gallifrey with this closing reflection on my part. I still remain to maintain my duty, according to Rassilon’s will, that all vampire-kind in this universe is to be destroyed at all costs, even at the risk of my own life. This I have done and I seek no reward for it. The business of dealing with vampires is a dangerous one for me and scares me even to this day.
But the reason I send you this report is not just because I’ve destroyed a set of Victorian vampires that my companions and I found on Earth in the nineteenth century. As you have already noticed from reading this report, the vampire Redstone mentioned his client was Salvador. This was the same Salvador that I had initiated into the Time Lords at a young age of his age and had disastrous consequences from it.
I do not wish to be excused for my actions with Salvador in those early days of my life on Gallifrey then. But I wish to state that for a period of time, my friends and I were pursued by Salvador as he attempted to create worlds of reality to trap us…or more specifically trap me. As well as Bath on Earth, there were the two worlds he created – Junglos and Scotland.
I wish to make it clear that I have dealt with these encounters with Salvador and have sent him into the void where he can no longer trouble the universe again. I also dealt with Salvador in my third incarnation when he was on Earth. I assume that he is still confined to where he is in the void. But whether he managed to escape or not, I cannot tell.
It’s been a while since I wrote my journal following the adventure the Doctor and I had with Queen Victoria when it was just the two of us travelling together. But I wanted to write this entry in order to get into the habit of writing my latest experiences and analysis on recent adventures. I can’t explain how I forgot to come back to my journal. My memories are a bit faded somehow. I theorise I will forget to make another journal entry again.
But it was after the adventure the Doctor, Nyssa and I had with the Victorian vampires that we returned to the TARDIS. I didn’t know what to expect when we returned to the TARDIS and what was in store for us next. Of course, now that I’ve experienced the two latest adventures we’ve had, so much has happened. I’m now with Billy and I’ve been able to understand why he was so preoccupied at the time since we left Bath and when we were dealing with the vampires. I’m relieved that the Doctor has accepted me and Billy as a couple in the TARDIS and that he seems willing to let it continue as we travel with him.
It was because of Billy’s faith in his God and also in me and the Doctor that we’ve been able to defeat the vampires. I’m pleased that it happened, but I didn’t understand why he had faith in me as well. Now that Billy and I have become a couple and have fallen in love, I can now see why. Billy’s love for me and determination to see us alive was what made him strong.
After the adventure on the planet Scotland and with defeating Salvador, Billy and I took an opportunity to dance in the TARDIS ballroom. We chatted and talked about what we’d been through with Bath, the vampires, Junglos and Scotland. I still miss Tegan and Adric as the four of us including me and the Doctor were a good team in travelling the cosmos. But I’m pleased that Billy joined me and the Doctor as we make an equally good trio. Now Billy and I are a couple, I look forward to see where our TARDIS travels go next and how we continue our relationship together.
So, Mum; Dad! I finish this letter to you by saying that I’m having the time of my life in the TARDIS with the Doctor and Nyssa. And also to let you know that I’m okay. I don’t know whether this letter will reach you when I get a chance to send it to you, close to the time you live in. The last time you heard from me must have been when I sent you that postcard in April for the Easter holidays whilst I was in Huttle village, before I met the Doctor and Nyssa.
I miss you so much, Mum and Dad. I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to see you again. I hope the Doctor will return me home in the TARDIS. Then I’ll get to tell you how much fun and adventure I’ve enjoyed being in the TARDIS with my new best friends. And also to tell you that I’ve found the love of my life – Nyssa of Traken. I never thought I would fall in love with anyone. I never had the chance when I was living home back in Churchwood Street in Cardiff. My dreams have come true with travelling in the TARDIS with Nyssa and the Doctor.
My adventure with the Doctor and Nyssa facing the Victorian vampires has recently sprung to mind and prompted me to write this letter to you. I know I’ve had adventures since then on Junglos when Nyssa and I found out we loved each other and when the three of us defeated Salvador on Scotland. I never had the chance to write a letter to you about what I’ve been doing in my adventures with the Doctor and Nyssa. But since it’s been a little quiet lately with Scotland, I felt I’ve had the chance to write this letter to you and tell you what happened during the time when the three of us faced the vampires.
I hope I’ll be able to write more letters to you about my adventures with the Doctor and Nyssa in the TARDIS. I don’t know when I’m going to see you again when I return home. I hope I will soon. But should you receive this letter from me by the time I’ve sent it, I just want you to know. Please don’t worry about me. I’m happy where I am now. I’m with Nyssa, who I love so much and I’m with the Doctor who is our best friend. The vampire story you’ve just read was what persuaded me to face my fears of revealing my love to Nyssa, since I had faith in Jesus, the son of God and also in my two best friends when we defeated the monsters.
Please be safe, you two. I look forward to seeing you again. I love you so much. Bye Mum; bye Dad! Love from your son, Billy Walker.
‘Nyssa of Traken’ originally created by Johnny Byrne
‘Billy Walker’ and ‘Salvador’ created by Tim Bradley
© Tim Bradley, 2017
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