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The Infernal Angels

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The Doctor stepped out of his TARDIS and smiled. He was surrounded by dense vegetation and he could hear the wild life’s noises around him. He closed his eyes and breathed in the smells of pure nature, before focusing on the monument lost in the middle of the Amazonian forest. It was a magnificent temple that didn’t belong to this place. For all the Doctor knew, it didn’t even belong to this world. The Time Lord had spotted it a while ago, while scanning the Earth for some unusual activity that might indicate that the Master was still around trying to meddle with humanity. But the renegade Time Lord seemed to have vanished from the face of Earth and the Doctor decided that a little exploration of this unusual temple was the distraction he needed.  

He made his way to the monument’s entrance, taking in the massive stone pillars leading the way inside. As soon as he entered, the Doctor paused to admire the architectural work that had been done. It was bright inside, thanks to the large windows in the walls. The floor and columns were made of marble, and everything was surprising clean, as if someone was taking care of the monument. There were so many columns that it almost looked like the temple was a labyrinth. More surprising were the numerous statues set everywhere. The Doctor had never seen so many angels gathered in one place. They all shared the same posture: their hands were covering their face as if they were weeping.

“How strange,” whispered the Time Lord as he walked through the temple.

He was beginning to feel a tingling sensation of unease, as if someone was staring at him, watching his every move. When he came across the first body, the sensation became certitude: something was terribly wrong in this place.

The deceased was obviously an explorer or an archaeologist, judging by his outfit. He was a white male in his fifties, whose neck had been broken. Based on the body’s state and the lack of decay, the Time Lord determined that death had occurred recently. But what impressed him most was the expression of sheer terror engraved in the poor man’s features.

The Doctor decided to keep exploring the temple and came across three other bodies, all bearing the same terrified expression. A search of the corpses revealed that all victims were part of the same expedition, led by a professor Thascalos.

“Mystery solved,” sighed the Doctor.

There was no doubt in his mind that the Master was behind those killings, but why? The Time Lord looked around him and frowned. Was it him or were the angels closer than before? In fact, it seemed that they were gathering around him. Using his sonic screwdriver to scan the nearby statue, the Doctor spotted strange readings that confirmed his suspicions. He broke into a run towards the opposite side of the temple, where there seemed to be less of those statues. He was about to reach a strange looking altar, when someone grabbed him and pulled him behind one the marble columns.

“What are you doing here?” Asked an angry Master. “You’ll ruin everything, as usual!”

The Doctor freed himself from his grip and straightened his jacket.

“Whatever evil plan you have in mind, it won’t work. I won’t allow it!”

The renegade Time Lord started laughing, a hysterical laugh that didn’t suit him.

“You think I’m responsible for their deaths? Fool! You fool! You got it all wrong!”

“Then by all means, enlighten me!”

“I’m cleaning a mess I didn’t create. You see those statues? Those apparently harmless angels? Well, they are not what they seem to be. They killed my whole team! I’m the only one left and I’ve been trying to operate this spaceship to send them back to where they came from!”

The Doctor tried to join the dots and eventually realised the danger the planet was in.

“They are an alien race that came here to kill or feed on humans… Did you bring them here?”

“No!”

The Master seemed genuinely infuriated by the allegation that he might have anything to do with the killing angels’ arrival.

“I spotted this temple and I was looking to explore it. Call it a holiday if you want, but I wasn’t looking for trouble. I was hoping for some…”

“…peace and quiet,” sighed the Doctor. “Me too… That’s why I came here. I guess we are both attracted by danger… So what do you suggest? Should I leave you to your holiday?”

His enemy looked worried and he grabbed the Time Lord’s arm.

“No, don’t! Let’s team up and send those creatures back! You have my word that I won’t try to harm you in any way.”

The Doctor smiled. The Master’s word had no value, but on the other hand, he couldn’t let him deal with the infernal angels alone. He couldn’t risk them wandering around Earth and threaten any living creature on the planet.

“Alright,” he said. “Let’s do this together.”