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The Deep Darkness

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Author's note: Reviews welcome :D


I could barely open my eyes, so I settled for a squint. I didn't remember when I fell asleep, or unconscious, I couldn't recall which. I winced in pain, the simple movement of my eyelids reminding me of what happened. I couldn't see much, even though my eyes were open and I was awake. But I felt the solid form of a wall at my back, ground beneath my feet, and soft, cold breeze whispering over my wounds. The chill brought me to my senses, and I managed to open my eyes fully. All that met my eyes was darkness, apart from the occasional vertical glint like the shine on metal. My mind cleared and I recalled the torture I had endured, the suffering. With wide eyes I gasped for breath, relieved that refreshing, whole and sufficient oxygen filled my lungs. With a sigh of comfort I leaned forward, which turned into a sharp inhale of pain. My back, which was sticky from dried blood, stung intensely as my motion tore open my closed cuts slightly. Trying to avoid thinking of the pain it caused me, I looked about my legs and was comforted to see that my clothes, though slightly torn, were on my person. With a jerk of realization I frantically looked around for a familiar face, which was, to my relief, nowhere in sight.

But that didn't necessarily mean anything.

A golden shine caught my eye, so I turned back to observe the ground beside me. Sitting there was the choke-pear, the claws sharp and menacing. I moved myself away from it, swallowing and looking for something else to place my focus on. The mechanism still remained the most noticeable thing in my proximity, however. I shook as I drew my legs out from underneath me, trying to get as comfortable as possible. I kept glancing around at the darkness, part of me hoping the Master would come back, if nothing else to ease my loneliness. Without another living creature around, I felt as if I was going to go mad. It was like knowing you were the last of your species, or at least thinking so; but even worse. No one to talk to, no one to hold, no one to share wonders with and most definitely no one to save. I drew my legs to my chest, looking around expectantly. I don't remember how long I sat there, waiting.

Just before I decided to give up searching, I heard movement. I felt a lifting in my chest that almost made me want to stand, though I thought better of it. Lowering my legs, I scanned the darkness, finding nothing different about it. The lift in my chest sunk back down, and I kept my eyes focused on my close surroundings. Nothing had changed there, either. Was it the Master, deliberately trying to drive me mad or was it truly something else? I gave a little sigh, breaking the uneasy silence. My thoughts hadn't chosen a direction to travel, and neither did my eyes. So I just kept still, staring at the uneven surface of the stone under my feet.

Then I heard the sound again. Intrigued, I stood up on weakened legs, my back stinging with pain. Too aroused to notice, I kept listening. There it was once more, a quiet scraping followed by a brief brush of something on metal. I tried my best to keep the sound in my mind as I pondered the sound's properties. It had to have been clothing or fur that made the brushing sound. Whatever it was had quieted down again. After a long while, the sound came back, for longer and was closer to me; this time I heard a brief whimper mixed in. Worried now, I took a painful step forward. The sound ceased, leaving me standing there, my legs wanting to crumple underneath me. Eventually they did, and I sank to the ground with a cringe, trying to ignore the pain. The noise didn't come back.

Countless hours passed. They stretched longer than I even imagined possible, the nothingness tearing at my mind. I needed to do something. Never before had I stood that still for that long. I couldn't help but wonder how humans back on earth were able to sit on a couch for hours on end. Maddened by the lack of activity, in a fit of desperation, I reached for the choke-pear. It was colder than the stone, in my hands. I swallowed, thankful that I was the one holding the mechanism and not the Master. Turning it over in my palm, I found a slip of paper attached around the stem-like screw. There were a few symbols written on it in Gallifreyan that read: "To tide you over..." I sighed wistfully at the sarcasm I could imagine dripping from the Master's voice as I read it.

I flopped back against the wall, slowly curling myself up and pressing my side against the stone in an attempt to preserve warmth. I shivered slightly from the chill, and slightly from a foreboding feeling that was rising in my chest. I lay there, a churning in my stomach, a slicing pain in my back, and the coldness sweeping around me. I clung to hope on a thin, easily breakable thread. And all was quiet.

~ X ~

Silence...

Dragging on and on...

It was excruciating.

~ X ~

When I decided to move again, I was almost entirely numb. A clawing hunger had formed in my stomach, restless and unsatisfied. I had tried to sleep but the cold had prevented any wholesome rest. Quietly I stood up. My injuries felt better; I had probably been sitting there for over 24 hours. I looked around, and swallowed. My throat was dry and my voice unused. It was odd to hear a sound as I spoke. "Hello...?"

I waited for a reply, but there came no answer. I sighed and started briskly pacing. My legs were tense and numb, but I was determined to regain my strength. I decided it was best to be prepared for something, even if nothing happened ever again. For a moment I pondered if I might take up a habit of conversing with myself, since no one was there to converse with me. I hadn't tried it before. It sounded painfully boring. I shook my head, my thoughts clearing and my legs falling into a steady rhythm of movement. I smiled, for the first time in a good while, feeling my strength returning. The cold was ebbing away as I warmed up, and I was beginning to feel whole again. If only I just had someone to talk to...

After a good round of pacing I decided to exercise my thoughts as well. I focused my attention on the questions that had haunted me ever since I arrived there- what was this place anyway? Why was it always dark? Was there anyone else there but the Master and I...? The list went on and on. Suddenly I was in a different place, sucked back into a desperate memory. My TARDIS was shaking and pulsing in a red light as the cloister bell rung. I lost my footing multiple times, latching onto the console and hauling myself into a supported standing position. Expertly but frantically, I slid around the console, tweaking different controls in an attempt to calm her down. Nothing seemed to work, and I swiveled around on my heel to survey the walls as the lights of the TARDIS dimmed. I began to panic as the sound of the Vortex echoed through the room, making the realization that the soundproofing and most likely the shields were down as well. The ship jerked violently, and something in my chest dropped when I heard the sound of walls cracking as I fell again. Not knowing what to do, I stumbled over to the railing and hung on for dear life as the TARDIS flew unprotected through the Time Vortex. Colors blurred and the whole room shuddered, and then everything faded to black.

I snapped back to reality, finding with a sigh a similar darkness that I had begun to get used to. With an irritable lurch in my stomach I realized how desperate I was for someone to talk to. I also realized that I had forgotten to explore away from the wall, and curiosity as well as fear welled up inside me. With slight hesitance I pushed myself forward, stepping into the unknown darkness.
However, I was stopped abruptly as I came in contact with many long, cold, cylindrical pillars. Shaking my head, I reached out and around the bars, able to fit my hand and most of my arm out but not my whole body. I took a step back and walked along the outskirts of the dark, reaching out so my hand felt along a solid row of strong, thick metal bars. I was trapped, in my own little corner of shadows.

And nothing happened for what seemed to be like an entire week.