Welcome to the Time Tales section of Doctor Who Online.
Time Tales are Doctor Who dioramas (picture stories), based on characters
and worlds inspired by Doctor Who, and written and shot by Malcolm
Haiti, a beach near Port-au-Prince. Nighttime...
Donny Jackson ran as fast as he could through scrubland as bullets zipped
through the air past him. He was screaming as he ran, desperate to reach the
houses on the boundary of the city that he could see in the distance. They
seemed close to him, their twinkling lights promising safety that was just
out of reach. He cried for his girlfriend who would be waiting for him at
the hotel, and he wondered if he would ever see her eyes again. He had
managed to elude the SwanCorp security guards so far, but now it seemed
there was no escape. As he ran he noticed something in the corner of his eye
– a tunnel that seemed to lead into the earth. He ran into the hole trying
to find a hiding place, but he slipped and fell crashing down, slipping
further and further until he landed with a squelch on something wet and
sticky. Light broke the darkness as several people with burning torches
approached Donny, and a man dressed in a ceremonial outfit stared at Donny.
He could see in the torchlight that he had landed on a rotting corpse and he
started to scream.
The Next Morning...
Captain Bhuma looked at the corpse of the young tourist floating in a small
pool of water next to the sea. The body was covered in a thick oily waste
pollutant of some kind. The young tourist, a man who must have been in his
mid twenties, still had a scream etched on his face even though death had
come some hours before. Captain Bhuma knew that it would be chalked down to
death by misadventure after a heavy night of drinking and drugs, but he had
his suspicions. He saw that the forensic team had arrived and he let them
take over, Bhuma sighed and realised that the worst part of his job was to
come. He headed towards the Macusa Hotel where a young girl was waiting for
news on her missing boyfriend. He never liked that job. From a distance on a
high ridge overlooking the beach, a man surveyed the scene with a pair of
binoculars. He picked up his mobile phone and sent a text message to his
employer: ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales.’
Later That Day...
Robert Swan poured himself a glass of rum and stared out of the window in
his office that looked over his development site on the coast of Haiti. He
could see the outskirts of the capital city, Port-au-Prince, a couple of
miles away along a ridge than ran alongside the beach. He saw the many
brightly coloured decorations that had been put up around the city as the
Night of the Red Moon carnival approached. Mr Swan had never been a close
follower of the local culture and celebrations, but he did enjoy a good
party. That night, though, Mr Swan was far too nervous to think about it. He
paced back and forwards for a few moments before dialling a number on his
mobile phone. His deputy, Brad Owens, answered immediately. Mr Swan wasted
little time in telling his deputy to move the ‘merchandise’ on soon, and
covertly. The tourist that stumbled across their transaction the evening
before had been a very close call. Had he not drowned their whole operation
might have been ruined.
Othertime in the Time Space Vortex..
The Doctor was tinkering with circuits in the base of the central console
whilst muttering about boosting defences against the Talon Virus that had
grounded every other TARDIS. Robyn remembered how the Doctor had explained
that the TARDIS was designed to change shape to match its surroundings. The
Talon Virus had been unleashed on every TARDIS through this disguise
mechanism – the Chameleon Circuit the Doctor had called it – but because the
one in this TARDIS was defective the virus hadn’t been able to attack it.
A siren sounded from the TARDIS console followed almost immediately by the
sound of a large thump as the Doctor hit his head off the console. The
Doctor’s usual smile disappeared and was replaced by a frown as he
recognised the source of the signal that had triggered the siren – the
TARDIS had detected energy from the Mandragora Helix. The Doctor explained
to Robyn that the Mandragora Helix was living, sentient energy that had
previously attempted to attack Earth in the 14th Century and had now
Rhamu watched as a corpse was laid into the Earth. He was chanting loudly
and his followers were joining him in the chorus. The funeral began and
Rhamu closed his eyes and chanted that new life would soon rise again and
devour the Earth in a Sea of Blood. Rhamu opened his eyes to see Brad Owens,
from SwanCorp, standing in front of him. Two SwanCorp security guards were
dragging a reporter towards the voodoo burial ground and, following orders
from Owens, threw the victim into the grave on top of the corpse.
‘Can’t stand the press,’ said Owens to Rhamu. ‘Can you?’ Rhamu cursed Owens,
saying that he had desecrated their ritual. Owens laughed back at the
shaman. Owens warned them all that SwanCorp had bought this land and they
would think nothing of developing it for cheap housing. Owens laughed as he
led his men away. Rhamu’s eyes glowed a feint red colour as he started the
chanting again. He saw into the future where the seas, thick with pollution,
bubbled and boiled, and below the surface the sound of a chorus could be
The TARDIS materialised in a back alleyway in Port-au-Prince with a
wheezing-groaning sound. The Doctor exited and looked around, noticing the
carnival decorations that lit up the nearby buildings. Robyn followed the
Doctor out of the TARDIS and was amazed by the sight. She recognised where
they were from a local poster – they had arrived in Haiti. That made sense
to the Doctor. He explained to Robyn that the Mandragora Helix seemed to
attach itself to cultist minds where its influence could progress quickly.
K9’s ears whirred as they searched for the Helix energy signal that had
brought the TARDIS here. The robot dog managed to localise it to a site 2
miles down the coast. The Doctor suggested to Robyn that she should stay in
the TARDIS whilst he set off towards the area where the signal was coming
from. He warned her that Helix energy was particularly dangerous. Robyn
watched as the Doctor and K9 set out towards the scrubland.
Brad Owens had been sitting next to a fire with his two security guards,
laughing at the voodoo curse that had been put on Owens by the shaman, when
he had decided to go for a ‘leak’ as he had called it. He had only walked a
short distance to some bushes when he felt a twitching on his right forearm.
He looked at his arm and panicked as he saw a tattoo had just appeared there
– it was a twisted shape, drawn in a deep red that reminded Owens of old
blood. He started to panic, wondering what was happening to him. His
thoughts were broken by a shout. His security guards had spotted an intruder
walking along an upper pathway, getting close to the SwanCorp development
area. Brad Owens pulled his shirt sleeve down over the mark on his arm and
grabbed his handgun.
The Doctor stood on the mud path that ran along the high ridge connecting
Port-au-Prince to the SwanCorp development site. He was rubbing his chin,
deep in thought, as K9 had detected very high levels of triiodocordine
locally. Triiodocordine was a pollutant that was a major ecological concern
in the distant future of Earth - the by product of pollutants from major
global industries. The Doctor asked K9 to scan for any temporal disturbance
in the area. K9 spun around slowly, his ears whirring as he analysed the
surrounding area. He reported high chronon levels that suggested some degree
of temporal distortion had been present locally underneath the ground. The
Doctor became increasingly concerned – the combination of Helix energy,
temporal disturbances and pollutants from Earth’s future was not a pleasant
Robyn waited in a bar just next to where the TARDIS had landed. She finished
off her drink and decided to have a walk outside. She hated waiting and it
was made worse this time by a couple of rather poor attempts by some of the
locals at chatting her up. She turned to leave the bar when she noticed a
shadow in the street through the window. At first she thought it was just
someone standing in the darkness, but she realised she could see through it.
A cold shiver ran down her spine and she ran outside to see what it was, but
there was no longer anything there. She glanced over to the TARDIS and
wondered when the Doctor was going to return.
The Doctor and K9 were examining traces of the pollutant on some flowers
when Brad Owens and his security guards surrounded them. Owens demanded that
the Doctor explained who he was and what that ‘thing’ was with him. The
Doctor explains that he was a tourist who had become lost and this ‘thing’
was his second best friend. Owens tried to intimidate the Doctor, but the
Doctor immediately shifted focus to the mark on Owen’s right forearm. Owens
asked the Doctor if he knew what it was – the Doctor replied that it was a
double helix. It wasn’t a tattoo, the Doctor noted, but blood – the very
skin itself had changed. The Doctor said that it was a mark of Mandragora
and asked Owens how he got it. Owens refused to answer and demanded that the
Doctor and K9 be escorted to his office on the development site.
Robyn looked towards where the Doctor and K9 had set off exploring and she
decided that she should follow. Something was happening here and she
couldn’t just sit here and wait. Seeing the shadow had spooked her out
somewhat. Robyn set off down the path that led along a ridge towards the
development site a couple of miles away. As she set off a shadow lurked next
to the TARDIS watching her every move.
Rhamu continued his chanting to the sky, waiting for the Night of the Red
Moon to arrive. The moon seemed to glow red and swell in the night sky.
Rhamu screamed as everything around him turned red and his followers burned
in red energy, collapsing into dust. A voice spoke to him inside his head -
a powerful, ancient voice that commanded the universe. It was the Mandragora
Helix, and it had chosen Rhamu as its slave. It said that it had purged
Rhamu of his followers as it had brought him some new servants from the
future. Rhamu turned around and screamed.
Brad Owens showed Mr Swan the mark on his arm and described his encounter
with the Doctor. Mr Swan was shocked. He was keen to see who this Doctor was
and what he knew about the helix. He decided they must ‘extract’ information
out of him. Owens smiled as Swan passed him a rubber baton. ‘Soften him up
first,’ Swan ordered.
Robyn looked down the path as she walked. There was no sign of the Doctor
anywhere. She saw a few shapes almost hidden in the darkness as they moved
into an opening in the ground. She waited a few minutes and then crept up
quietly towards the opening. She could see that it was a tunnel that led
into the earth. She tentatively peeped inside and wondered if the Doctor had
explored in here. As she disappeared into the tunnels a shadow, once again,
was watching her every move.
Mr Swan looked up as the door to his on-site cabin was thrown open. Rhamu
stood there and he stared at Swan. Rhamu demanded that his employees
immediately stop their harassment of his followers and the ravaging of the
land. Swan looked back with bemusement and mild annoyance. He pressed a
button to order his security guards here. Swan promised Rhamu that he would
not stop his development here just because some man who dresses in rags and
bones tells him to. Swan’s security guards arrived and approached Rhamu, but
the shaman fired bolts of red energy from his fingers leaving the men
charred on the floor – their skin seared a deep blue. Creatures entered the
room causing Swan to stumble back in horror. The creatures moved towards
him, their hands stretched out revealing thick yellow claws. Their faces
were bloated as if they have been trapped underwater for years, and were
covered in small suckers that pulsed rhythmically. ‘What are they?’ screamed
Swan. ‘They are your future,’ replied Rhamu.
‘I wouldn’t do that,’ warned the Doctor as Owens stepped up to him whilst
lifting his baton. K9 extended his nose blaster and knocked Owens back. A
security guard who had stood behind Owens pulled out a gun, but K9 blasted
that too. They hadn’t thought the robot dog might be armed. A scream from
outside peaked the Doctor’s curiosity and he ran to see what had happened.
The Doctor stood for a moment as he examined the scene in front of him.
Several creatures stood around a SwanCorp worker pressing their sucker
covered mouths against the workers skin, draining blood from his body. K9’s
ears whirred as he scanned them. ‘Haemovores,’ K9 called them, ‘Homo
vampiris.’ The Doctor hadn’t heard of them. K9 explained that they were one
possible branch of evolution for Homo sapiens in a polluted environment,
particularly Triiodocordine. Professor Marius, who created the original K9,
had coined the term after running a decade long computer study into possible
futures of the human race. The Doctor realised that these creatures had been
brought back in time by the Mandragora Helix, and that was why pollution
from the future had leaked back in time too. Owens and the security guard
appeared from the cabin the Doctor had been held in. They could see the
whole development site starting to be overrun with these Haemovores. The
Doctor suggested that they should withdraw for the moment. He asked K9 to
find Robyn and ensure she was safe. He would stay here with Owens to try and
see if the creatures could be contained. As K9 trundled away towards the
city, the Doctor saw Rhamu emerge from Swan’s cabin knowing that Mr swan was
Robyn looked around the edge of a ridge in the tunnel and saw that it led to
an underground temple. Several Haemovores were standing there and they were
chanting. As Robyn turned to leave she found she was trapped by one of them.
This one was as repulsive as the rest, but the suckers on its face were even
more numerous and thick tentacles had started to grow from its neck. The
creature reached out a hand towards her, ready to drag her towards him so it
could devour her blood, but it stopped. ‘Your soul bears the mark of
Darkness,’ observed the Elder Haemovore. He bent down in front of her and
started praying towards her. Soon the other Haemovores followed suit. Robyn
was stunned, unable to move. It seemed that these creatures were worshipping
The Doctor said that the shaman was possessed by helix energy that came from
the Mandragora Helix itself. He had seen it once before, but this time it
has brought the Haemovores from the future to help consolidate its hold on
the Voodoo cultists. He said that the helix energy was always weak when it
first latched onto a host, and would be susceptible to an energy attack. He
asked Owens what was being so well guarded here – something that was
probably not legitimate. Owens replied that the SwanCorp development here
had been involved in some drug-running. The Doctor asked Owens whether there
were any explosives on site. Owens told him that there was, and asked what
the Doctor was planning to do. The Doctor said he planned to blow up the
drugs – the resulting blast would unleash massive energy that the helix
energy would not be able to cope with. Owens reluctantly agreed to the plan.
The Doctor then asked him whether he had any metal plating and wire hanging
around – he was going to try to drain the Helix energy from Rhamu.
Robyn was surrounded by the Haemovores as they walked slowly towards the
SwanCorp development site. The Elder Haemovore said that it had awaited the
Emissary of Darkness for centuries. Now it knew why it had been drawn to
this time – Death would fall on the Earth. Robyn was worried – she was
worried what the Haemovores planned to do with her, but she was more worried
what it was within her that had so easily convinced the creatures that she
was the embodiment of darkness. She was worried whether they had already
attacked the Doctor and whether he had become one of them.
The Doctor warned Rhamu that he would stop the Mandragora Helix from taking
hold here. Rhamu looked at the Doctor and sneered that the once great hero
now sided with drug smugglers and imperialists. Rhamu fired helix energy at
the Doctor, but the Doctor seemed to be able to absorb it as the energy was
grounded through the metal wires attached to his chest plate. Rhamu fired
another blast of helix energy, this time knocking the Doctor backwards,
dislodging the chestplate he was wearing. ‘Did you expect the same trick to
work again?’ asked Rhamu. ‘No,’ the Doctor replied, his face a broad grin,
‘but it was a good distraction.’ A huge explosion burst into the air as the
Doctor lept behind a mound of earth to shelter him from the blast.
Robyn saw the huge explosion at the SwanCorp development site, and tried to
break out of the group of Haemovores to run towards it, but the Haemovores
kept her closed in. The Elder Haemovore said that they must protect her at
all costs. Her thoughts were thankfully broken by a familiar sound.
‘Mistress,’ reported K9. Robyn smiled at the sight of the robot dog.
Rhamu was lying on the floor, still breathing. The Doctor helped lift him up
to a sitting position. Rhamu couldn’t remember what had happened. Brad Owens
ran over, gun in hand, and looked at the Doctor, then towards the Haemovores.
They were still there, waiting. Another crowd of them approached from the
upper path from the city. The Doctor could see that K9 was following them
and Robyn seemed to be in the middle of the group. The Doctor was wondering
why the Haemovores were still active despite the helix energy being driven
away from Rhamu, but Owens soon provided the Doctor with an answer. Owens
was glowing with helix energy.
The Doctor realised that he had been trapped by the Mandragora Helix – Owens
had been infected with the energy since he received its mark on his arm.
Rhamu was the distraction. Owens warned the Doctor that the Earth would
burn, and the Doctor would be forced to see it all before his eyes. The
Haemovore group escorting Robyn arrived and shouted for the Doctor. Owens
realised she was the Doctor’s companion and he sensed an opportunity to
humiliate the Doctor. He ordered the Elder Haemovore to kill the Doctor’s
companion before the Time Lord’s eyes. The Elder Haemovore refused, causing
Owens to recoil in disbelief. The Elder Haemovore said that the Mandragora
Helix was a powerful creation, but the Goddess was touched by the Great
Darkness, a shadow that casts night over the universe. They serve her; they
need not serve the Helix anymore. The Haemovores circled Owens and dragged
him towards the sea. Red energy sparked as the Helix energy was finally
dissipated, leaving the corpse of Owens floating on the sea. Robyn saw that
the Doctor was looking towards the ridge behind them, so she looked too. The
Elder Haemovore looked at Robyn and bowed. He said that they would wait for
her here, for the day when the night swallowed the Earth at her hand. Robyn
started to cry and she knelt on the sand. The Doctor wrapped his scarf
around her shoulders as he watched the Elder Haemovore walk into the sea.
The Doctor, Robyn and K9 made their way back to the TARDIS. Robyn was still
disturbed by what the Elder Haemovore had said, about her being the Emissary
of Darkness. She stopped just before she entered the TARDIS. She was worried
this ‘darkness’ was the same thing the mist creature had seen in her back in
the ‘Happy Zodin’ when it said she was already possessed. The Doctor
promised her that he would help her find out, but he said the Haemovore must
have been mistaken. He smiled at her and opened the TARDIS door. Robyn
Copyright Malcolm Orr & Doctor Who Online, 2008.
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