Kubernan Mente – Winning short story of the Dr Who Competition at The Isle of Arts 2013 by WFWC member Michelle Angell


Kubernan Mente


By Michelle Angell, Ventnorhttp://artsisle.org/competition-winners

Kristie glanced at her watch, it was 9.15.

‘Damn’ she cursed aloud, with no time to stop and already late for the bus, she tripped, falling in a heap on

the pavement. Spotting her glasses which had fallen into a nearby driveway she hoped putting them back on

would get rid of the light headed vertigo sensation but alas it remained.

As she clambered to her feet, steadying herself on a nearby fence she noticed all around her things had

changed. The sky had an odd tinge of purple to it, the trees and bushes had lost their colour and had curled

up and withered. An eerie gust of freezing wind blew the dust up in swirls from the suddenly deserted street.

Kristie watched the dust spiralling around her shoes as the sound of a vehicle approaching made her look up

with a start. A solitary bus glided towards her, the front windscreen was blacked out but as it passed the

faces of the passengers filled her with terror. They sat in twos, their identical green shirts making them hard

to tell apart. Turning their faces all at once, their empty purple eyes gazed emotionless at her. Kristie

panicked and turned to run, forgetting her bag in her haste. She could hear footsteps behind her, speeding

up and getting closer. Heading towards home she quickened her pace but so did her pursuer and the faster

she tried to run, the closer he got. Time seemed to slow down momentarily as her legs felt heavy and slow.

Spinning around she stared terrified into his face.

“You should be on the bus, you’re late!” He glared angrily, squeezing her shoulders in his claw like grip

ensuring she had no where to run, no escape.

Somewhere close by, flying through the dimensions of time, the tardis was heading back to familiar territory.

The doctor had a look of relief at their arrival after tolerating what seemed like hours of Peri’s excited chatter

about their destination. An excitement that he did not share, a place called Ventnor, just another tedious

seaside town.

As the doors opened Peri excitedly bounced out, eager to feel her feet once again on her home planet. It had

taken a considerable amount of time to convince the Doctor to help her come back to find her sister.

“Come on, look it’s beautiful out here!” She called, taking in deep breaths of fresh air. With an unenthusiastic

sigh he followed her out, and stood for a moment, glancing around critically at his new surroundings.

“Changed a bit since I was last here, as I recall there was a pier and, dare I say it, a whole more peaceful

feeling to the whole place!”

Peri looked around slightly confused. “You’ve been here before?”

“Yes, I believe it was 1890 and a marvellous place, good for the soul! The climate has healing qualities. Can’t

say much for it now though…” He sighed looking somewhat disappointed. Peri ignored his negative attitude

and sat beside the waterfall, appreciating the sound of the trickling water and the familiar smells of the


“You should see the diversity of the plants here, it’s just amazing! Oh I just know for sure that Ariana is here. I

can feel it.”

An icy breeze rushed past them.

“There’s something not quite right!” He frowned, dashing back inside the tardis. Peri ignored his pessimism,

even though the seafront was eerily deserted for this time of year. A sheet of paper flapped at her feet,

picking it up she followed after him reading as she went.

“This is unusual…”

“Yes, quite! Readings of activity from another being but I can’t pick up a location.”

“No, I mean to have so many missing kids in one town!” Peri frowned as the Doctor took his usual reaction of

ignoring her and continued to flick switches in a frustrated manner.

“Nothings making sense, it’s like there’s something interfering with the readings, its all distorted.” He

shouted, jumping from one screen to another as each one began to turn slowly purple. “This is useless,

come on!”

Peri grabbed the sheet of paper and followed him up the hill and away from the seafront. The Doctor holding

the mobile tracker device out in front of him.

“I don’t understand, where are we going?”

“Up, we need to get to higher ground, see now I can see there’s something here, I’m picking it up and this is

something big, I just have to work out where the hell it is!”

Peri stopped to catch her breath and was almost knocked over as a terrified young girl running at top speed

collided with her.

“I’m sorry…” She panted, out of breath. “Please help me, everyone’s gone, a bus, chasing me, they had

purple eyes…”

“Did you say purple eyes?” The doctor spun round, taking notice of her for the first time.

“Yes, their eyes were purple, they all looked the same. A man, he said I would find you…oh please, help me,

what’s happening?”

The doctor listened carefully as Kristie explained what had happened and thought for a moment. Turning his

back on the shivering girl he looked up towards the hills and downs that stood above the town.

“This is something old, and I mean really old. Easiest description is a mind parasite! The problem I have is…

where exactly is it hiding?” He turned back to Kristie and knelt down beside her. “This bus you saw, where

was it heading?”

“It went towards the industrial estate, but…”

“Yes…and the man, the one who was following you?” He interrupted.

“I, I don’t know I was running but I don’t think he went any further than the estate either. Why? What is this?

Where has everyone gone?”

“No time to explain!”

Kristie led the way up to the industrial estate which was unusually silent for a weekday. The units lay

deserted. Peri noticed a figure in the distance, as they got closer she realised it was a young girl; she smiled

and waved before running off into the distance. Peri followed as if in a trance.

“Peri, what the….” The Doctor shouted before realising that she had disappeared without a trace. There was

no where for her to go, the Industrial estate was a dead end, the downs above, the town below.

“Where is she?” Kristie shouted, the Doctor lifted his tracking device and thought for a moment.

“If something needs to hide, to evolve, to gain power without being seen, where would it be most safe?”

Kristie shrugged.

“The old railway tunnel” He pointed towards the overgrown area in front of them.

“No way, it’s impossible, no ones been in there for years, it’s blocked up!” Kristie called out, ignoring her he

ran forwards and she followed.

“Closed in the 1960s I believe, far long enough for something to grow, to gain power!” He shouted. All of a

sudden they collided with a purple mist that was thick enough to engulf them both. Falling to the ground the

Doctor glanced up, catching his breath.

“A simple mind illusion, the tunnel is very much open!” Kristie could hardly believe her eyes, in front of them

the tunnel was cleared and open, the trees surrounding had withered back and the same purple mist from

earlier lingered around the entrance. The Doctor led the way, slowly into the dimly lit tunnel; he knew Peri

could not be far away. Hearing her voice in the distance he grabbed Kristie’s hand and headed towards the

sound, the light grew brighter and all at once they found themselves in a large room. In front of them lay

fifteen beds in a circle, each containing one of the missing teenagers. They looked peaceful as if asleep and

each had a selection of wires attached to their heads which all connected to a large computer in the centre.

Peri was hurriedly shaking one of them and pleading for her to wake up.

The Doctor was just about to step forward to help but a large plume of dark purple smoke flashed before him

and began to form the shape of a man. He smiled and folded his arms menacingly.

“Ah Doctor at last you have arrived. On time too thank you for being so prompt on my little invitation.” He

smirked at Kirsty, “You did well on your part. It is a shame I no longer need you.” He pointed, sending Kristie

falling to the ground.

“Who are you?”

“Who am I? Who are we? We are the oldest essence, the furthest soul, the most powerful force it seems

right now!” He smiled. “We have met before many times, and you know too well what I am capable of.” He

waved towards Peri who was still oblivious to them all.

“There’s no point, she can’t hear you, she thinks that’s her sister and the more emotion, the more fear she

feeds out, the more the we can gain power and spread further, to reach every soul out there on this stupid

planet.” He stepped back and smiled. “You can try all you want but these humans have too much fear, too

much sadness, too much to feed on. They make their own demise!” He threw his cane into a corner where it

reared up into a large purple snake, spitting venom from its grinning jaws. Realising he could not get to Peri

the Doctor called out to her.

“Peri, can you hear me that is not your sister, they are using your mind, taking your energies. Peri!” He

looked up to see Peri staring blankly towards him, she had let go of the girl’s hand but her eyes shone

purple. She slowly turned and walked mechanically towards him, her arms outstretched. He backed up

against the wall as she grabbed him by the throat in an iron grip that he knew was alien to her.

“Can you feel that Doctor, that’s how much power we have, your dear friend’s mind is completely empty.

Now we just need your great knowledge to make the Great intelligence the most powerful being in all time

and space. Just imagine, when we have drained you and gained the final keys to ultimate power…then, and

only then will the universe change forever!” He stood back laughing as he watched the Doctor falling back

under his young assistant’s grip; she remained in the same stance, staring blankly into his eyes, unseeing

and vacant.

The doctor felt himself falling to the ground, his memory fading, the surroundings blurring as he choked for

breath. The purple glow began to spread along the water pipes, quickening every second.

“Peri…she’s not…your sister….” he croaked finally. It only took a few seconds and he felt her grip lighten, a

sudden intake of breath that felt real and not of another being. Their captor took a step back, realising

something had stopped the progress of his plan, all he could do was shriek as the Doctor ran between each

bed pulling out each plug as he went and cutting the human energy supply to the computer. After the final

plug was pulled the main machine began to pulse and glow in a purple and green hue, the radiance getting

larger and larger and creating a pressure in the tunnel which became too much to bear. The Doctor covered

his ears and draped himself over Peri who had collapsed in a corner. With no power to drive its force, the

existence known as the Great intelligence condensed to its simplest form, a pyramid of silver orbs.

Grabbing the orbs with both hands the Doctor turned to his bewildered assistant. “Come along Peri, back to

the Tardis, no time to waste. We have some rubbish to get rid of!”

Kristie opened a bleary eye at the sound of voices and cars driving by. She lay on a bench by the waterfall

on the seafront. She looked at her watch, it was 9.15.

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