The old man woke up with a start. The book he had been reading fell off his knees and landed on the floor, waking him completely. He was sitting in a comfortable armchair in the library. He yawned, got up and picked up the book, placing it on the shelf. He looked around, enjoying the sight of his extended collection of books. How he enjoyed spending time alone in this place…
“I better check what they are up to,” he muttered to himself, referring to his companions.
He left the library and walked through dimly lit corridors to reach the control room. Everything seemed normal. The peaceful humming was quite reassuring. Maybe they were all asleep in the resting area. This would be a relief as he would be free to walk around his TARDIS without them following him or asking silly questions.
He reached the control room and frowned. Something wasn’t right. The light seemed to be turned off, which was unusual. He suspected Susan to have taken him seriously when he claimed that they should save power. He sighed and reached for the switch.
His hearts missed a beat when the light came on.
It looked as if a storm had passed through the place. Did something happen while he was in the library? And what about those black fibres that resembled spider’s web covering the controls?
Suddenly worried, the old man called his granddaughter.
He then walked towards the controls, failing to notice the menacing figure who had just appeared in a dark corner.
“Susan!” the old man called again.
He finally spotted the figure in dark robes coming towards him. His back against the controls, he watched as the thing came closer. He couldn’t make out its face hidden by a black hood.
“What have you done with my granddaughter?”
The stranger didn’t reply. Spotting a movement from the corner of his eyes, the old man turned his head and opened his mouth in a silent cry. Barbara was staggering towards him, her face covered in blood.
“Doc…tor… help…me… please…”
Horrified, the Doctor stared to the woman.
“What happened to you, my dear?”
She pointed a weak and trembling finger towards the dark figure who had almost reached him. The Doctor wanted to escape but found that he was paralyzed by fear. The lights flickered and seemed to fade. He barely noticed it. The TARDIS had been invaded by a horrible monster. Susan was in grave danger.
“Susan!” He called desperately.
But the girl didn’t reply. He looked at Barbara again. She was in a very bad shape. She had pulled her last strength together to warn him. When she collapsed at his feet, the Doctor knew that the end was near. Susan was probably laying dead somewhere. The thought brought tears in the Doctor’s eyes. Did Chesterton protect her and give his life in the process?
A sudden pain in the chest made the old man grin and bend. He put a hand on one of his hearts and struggled to breathe normally.
“I told you this was a bad idea!”
The control room’s lights went back to normal.
Next thing he knew, Susan was hugging him tightly. Barbara was at his side, a comforting hand on his shoulder. The monster pulled his hood down, revealing Ian’s concerned face.
“Grandfather? Are you alright?” Asked a worried Susan.
The Doctor chuckled and straightened himself:
“And you thought that I would fall for this poor attempt to scare me?” He mused.
Ian and Barbara exchanged a surprised glance.
“You knew it was an act?”
“Of course I did,” snapped the old man back. “What I do not understand is its purpose!”
“It’s Halloween today,” smiled Susan.
“Nevermind,” sighed Ian, obviously disappointed.
“You were right, Susan,” added Barbara, “this was a bad idea after all…”
Tucked in her the Doctor’s arms, the girl laughed lightly:
“You did give us quite a scare, grandfather.”
“Likewise, my child, likewise…”