This chapter is where things start to be revealed, so if you haven’t read from the first chapter, use the links below to jump back to the beginning. It’s more fun that way!
The Resurrection of Evil
EPISODE FIVE: Daylight Revenant
“Go back home you damn fool
Surely you know you can’t win
You should never have come near this place
You should have stayed on the outside (Lookin’ in)”
— “I Don’t Wanna Go Home,” the Alan Parsons Project
The mid-morning sunlight streamed in the station windows and struck Terri’s closed eyes as she lay curled up on an uncomfortable bench. She batted at the sunbeam, but it did not go away. Finally she stirred and sat up.
She looked around. The Bloomington Police Station was not, on the whole, a bad place to be for people who had nothing to fear from the law. There were paintings on the wall which, although not particularly good, strengthened the feeling of friendliness.
“You’re awake,” said the Doctor.
He was standing by the window. There was a Minneapolis Star-Tribune in his hands, but it did not look as though it had ever been opened. –He could’ve been standing there for hours, thought Terri.
“Where’s Nora?” asked Terri.
“It’s her turn with the police,” replied the Doctor. After Methos had disappeared over the concrete wall of the Mall of America parking ramp, the police had taken over. The forensic team had only just arrived when the three of them had been hustled into a police car and driven off to the station for questioning.
Terri had volunteered to go first, and told the police everything she knew, with references to Immortals, Watchers, and transdimensional police boxes carefully excised. The only direct lie she had told was that she did not know the killer.
Then, before it was the Doctor’s turn, the forensic team returned. So questioning was put off for a bit. The three of them were given an empty office to sleep in while they waited.
Terri stretched and stood. She walked up next to the Doctor, who was staring resolutely out the window.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
He turned to meet her gaze. There was a twinkle in his eye. “Only a penny? I thought they might be worth more than that.” Then the twinkle evaporated and he sighed. He snapped the paper in his hands, gazing unseeing at the headline. “I was thinking about what happened. Nothing worth a penny has come out yet, I’m afraid.”
Terri stood on tiptoe to peek at the headline. “I see the stadium referendum still isn’t going anywhere.” The Doctor did not reply. “Did the police say anything yet?”
He shook his head. “Only that they think Edward Chevalier was killed by a rival drug dealer, who has now fled. They’re keeping it quiet for now. The Mall is helping them to keep it from the press.”
Terri sniffed. “Bet they don’t know they’re being helped.”
“What do you mean?”
“By the Watchers.” The Doctor frowned at her. She laughed. “What, you think a beheading normally goes unnoticed on Earth? If it weren’t for us . . . .” She sobered. “It could all end so easily.”
“What could?” asked the Doctor.
“Everything the Watchers have striven to maintain. If the world found out about the Game, it’d be open season on Immortals.”
The Doctor nodded. “You’re probably right.” He dropped the paper to his side and stared back out the window. There was nothing more for Terri to say, so she eased the newspaper out of his fingers and sat down to read it.
The door opened. Nora walked in, followed by a uniformed policeman. “If you could follow me, please,” said the policeman. He smiled apologetically.
Terri sighed and put the paper down. “Here we go again.”
You weren’t sure it would work. But it did. You rode the lightning and you are still alive — and will always be alive, as long as the Game continues. You laugh with delight, knowing that the one whose place you have taken can hear it all, locked away inside his own head. You wonder how much he knows. No matter. There will be plenty of time for browsing in the library of his brain.
You close your eyes and the darkness surrounds you again, enfolding you in its silence. The other is enfolded too, and you hear him cry out in fear. This is new to him.
But it is not new to you. A smile dances across your lips as you visualize all that you remember from that dread space between time and eternity, where past and future have little relevance and there is only the terrible now, a present that spans every possibility.
In your imagining, one of the great worms slides through the void and sinks its leathery fangs into the other’s — we shall call it living — essence.
He screams. You laugh, pleased that this one did not sink immediately into the true void of unconsciousness. His will is very strong. But it does not matter.
He is trapped, as you were trapped, with no escape. There is no ambition, no future; only survival. You sing that out in the blackness of your mind’s eye and the other hears it.
There is a resonance there. He ignores the blind worm gnawing mindlessly at his being and listens for your mental voice.
–We are of a like mind, you tell him. –Perhaps that is why you have remained while the last one sank so quickly into oblivion.
–Why? he cries. A quick learner. But not quick enough. –Why have you built this place for me?
Your smile curls the corners of your mouth. –All the better to eat you with, my dear.
You laugh and open your eyes, banishing the other from the threshold of your consciousness.
He’ll keep. You have other things to do.
The Doctor jogged down the front steps of the police station. Terri and Nora followed him out into the sunlight. Once they’d reached the bottom, the Doctor stopped and looked around.
“We’ve got to get back to the Turn of a Friendly Card,” he said.
“The MCTO stops near here,” commented Terri.
“The what?” asked the Doctor.
Nora laughed. “Metropolitan Council of Transit Operations. The big white bus.” Terri looked at her in surprise. “Well, it is. I’ve lived here for three years, you know.”
Terri laughed. “I guess I’d forgotten. I keep thinking you’ve just moved in.”
Nora looked at her. She cocked her head to one side. “But three years have passed for you too, haven’t they? What were you doing all that time?”
Terri glanced at the Doctor. He did not respond. “Traveling with the Doctor.” She smiled. “I was actually gone for only a year.” she leaned in close and whispered in Nora’s ear. “He’s not human. He’s a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey. And he’s got a space ship that travels in time and space and looks like a phone booth.”
Nora pulled away. “You’re crazy.”
Terri grinned. “That’s debatable.” Her nap at the police station had done her the world of good, and suddenly all her problems seemed salvageable. Then she remembered Methos. “Hoo boy,” she said.
“Terri,” said the Doctor, “if you’re finished, I’d like to get back to the Mall. It’s the last place we saw Methos, and the last place we found any sort of clue.”
“I have a car,” said Nora.
“Why didn’t you say?” asked Terri, a pained expression on her face.
“I dunno. I mean, I kinda forgot,” said Nora, shrugging. “The cops helped me get it while they were questioning you.”
“Excellent!” said the Doctor. “We can go straight to the Mall.”
Terri glanced at her watch. It was eight-thirty. “No we can’t,” she said. “It won’t open for another half-hour.”
“Hm,” said the Doctor. “Well, we’ll worry about that later then. You two collect Nora’s car.”
“What will you do, Doctor?” asked Terri.
“Talk to the detectives back inside. See if they’ve learned anything. We need all the help we can get.”
“Then what?” asked Nora.
The Doctor grinned. “Then I think that breakfast is in order.”
After some debate, it was decided to get a drive through breakfast. Nora drove them all to McDonald’s on Old Snelling Avenue. While waiting in the line, they discussed their plan of attack.
Nora fiddled with the radio in her battered grey Nissan, trying to pick up a decent radio station. It was all talk this early in the day and she hated that. After a while she gave up and stuck her Alan Parsons tape in the deck.
“So,” said Terri, leaning forward. She sat alone in the back seat. “What did you find out?”
“Nothing good,” replied the Doctor. He sounded tired. Nora wondered if he’d gotten any sleep at all. “Methos . . . . They couldn’t find him. But two policemen radioed in around four AM that they had seen him and were pursuing.”
“And?” said Terri.
The Doctor shook his head. “They were discovered about an hour ago. Their necks were broken. And their car was gone.”
“Dear God,” breathed Terri.
The line of cars moved. Nora shifted her car into gear and moved up alongside the speaker. She cranked down the window.
“Welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order?” The voice crackled out, startling the Doctor.
Nora ordered for everyone. The line moved. After a time, the Doctor spoke again. When he did, it was under his breath.
“How could he do such a thing?”
Nora sighed and turned to face him. “Well,” she said, “I think he’s not himself.”
“What do you mean?” said the Doctor.
“I mean that it’s a Dark Quickening,” she replied.
“What’s a Dark Quickening?” asked Terri. “I’ve heard of it, but . . . well . . . .” She shrugged. “I think I’ve been gone too long.
Nora put the car back into park. “It’s . . . I mean . . . .” She sighed. “Look. They say that an Immortal carries the souls of all those that he has killed, right?”
“With ya,” said Terri.
“I’ll take your word for it,” said the Doctor.
“When an Immortal has killed too many evil Immortals,” she said, “the balance is destroyed and he becomes a creature of evil. If another Immortal kills him, it’ll take him too. That’s the Dark Quickening.”
“Yin and yang,” said the Doctor.
Whoa,” said Terri.
The line moved forward. Nora shifted back into gear. The cashier’s window moved up to the car. She paid and took the food, handing it to the Doctor before driving away from the window.
“So what do we do?” asked Terri.
“There’s nothing we can do to save him,” said Nora, signaling her turn. “As far as we’re concerned, Methos is already dead.”
He floats back up, bubbling through your consciousness. If you concentrate, you can hear him swearing at you.
You chuckle and switch on your lamp, striding deeper into the cool darkness of the limestone cave. This darkness pleases you. The only beasts here are a few bats, and they have no interest in you. Indeed, you fancy that they would be frightened of you if only they would wake.
This is the darkness where evil breeds, where all your plots may feed upon the cool, growing to maturity. This is your home.
For the moment. Time is fickle, and you like to move with it.
The other screams out your name. The cry echoes through the recesses of his — your — brain. You flinch in pain and wonder just how he found your name. No one knows it anymore. Even you had forgotten all the syllables.
He is strong. But not strong enough.
The knowledge gives you pleasure. He has no hope. With a smile, you push the one called Methos back down below the threshold of consciousness.
Terri and the Doctor stood before the darkened doorway of the Turn Of a Friendly Card, waiting for Nora to emerge. The Fourth Floor was eerily quiet; with all but a few of the nightclubs closed, there was little reason for people to visit the nightclub promenade. There was a muted hum of people from the floors below, but the sound faded in and out as it echoed through the twisting corridors.
The Doctor leaned forward to read the notices taped up to the doorway.
“You only have one life to live.” “Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin’ up?” “While the Sorcerer slept the Apprentice decided to play.” “Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life, quietly fading away.”
He turned to Terri. “What are these?” he asked.
She shrugged. “Don’t know. There were different ones there last night.” She pointed to the sign in the middle. “Maybe they have to do with this.”
The sign read: “ACE OF SWORDS: Last Night! Be There!”
“I don’t know,” said the Doctor, frowning. “They still don’t make any sense.”
Terri glanced at her watch. “Where’s Nora? She’s been gone ten minutes.”
The Doctor shook his head. “I don’t know. I think it’s been long enough. Shall we brave the unknown security systems?”
Terri grinned. “Why not?”
With a smile in response, the Doctor took out his sonic screwdriver and started working on the lock. It didn’t take long.
The door creaked open and they entered. The club looked very different without the illuminated mist and the throng of pulsing humanity. The Doctor felt it looked almost sterile without it.
There was a single light on over the bar. The Doctor walked straight towards it. A voice deep inside of him warned that it might be a trap. He walked towards it anyway.
There was a stack of cards on the bar, with the words “THE GAME NEVER ENDS” written in calligrapher’s ink. The Doctor frowned. Next to them was a folded piece of paper and a sliver of metal. He picked up the paper and opened it.
It read, “Dear Doctor, I’ve just realized what he’s up to. He’s definitely the same person as Edward was; these cards confirm it — same handwriting and everything. And they were still wet when I found them. He’s my problem; I’m the one who helped him kill all those Immortals. I’m going to the Brickyards to stop him. –Nora.”
The Doctor sighed and crumpled the note in his hand.
Terri tapped his shoulder. “Whatcha got?” she asked.
“Bad news,” he replied. “Do you know where the Brickyards are?”
Terri led the Doctor through the Saint Paul Brickyards, dodging the rough footing and the dense burdock undergrowth. The mid-morning sun filtered down through the birch and maple trees, dancing across the path. She wished it were a happier day.
“Interesting,” said the Doctor. Terri turned. He was holding a piece of limestone and examining it closely. “This appears to be an area rich in fossil life, Terri.”
Terri smiled. “Yes,” she said, remembering with fondness her childhood excursions to hunt for fossils in the Brickyards. “This was an ocean once.”
He smiled. “I know.” He tapped the stone against his chin. “But why would Methos . . . Edward . . . whoever it is have come here?”
“There are artificial caves here,” she replied. “Some of them have been filled in, but there are still a few open. You’re not supposed to go inside.”
There was a shout.
“What was that?” said Terri.
“It came from that direction,” said the Doctor, pointing off the path and into the forest. He dropped the rock into Terri’s arms and dashed off.
Terri fumbled with the rock, then shrugged and took off after the Doctor. “So why are we running?” she asked. “This is screaming ‘Trap.'”
The Doctor stopped on a rise. He pointed ahead. “That’s why,” he said.
Terri came up alongside.
Methos was there. He was holding Nora by the throat. There was a look of unholy joy in his eyes. Terri shivered uncontrollably.
“Ah, Doctor, you’re here at last,” he said. Nora made a gurgling sound. He ignored her.
The Doctor spoke. His voice was calm and low. Terri knew this to be the voice he used when he meant business. “Methos, put Nora down and we’ll talk.”
Methos laughed. The sound was unlike anything Terri had ever heard from his lips. She stood frozen in terror. “Methos? Methos! You never understand, do you, Doctor?”
“Put her down,” repeated the Doctor, “or you’ll suffer for it. I don’t know what’s happened to you, Methos, but there must be something of you left.”
The Immortal’s lips curled up at the edges. “All right,” he said. “I’ll put her down.” Terri tried to scream out that this was all wrong, but her mouth was frozen in place. She watched, transfixed, as her friend took Nora’s head in his hands and turned it sharply to one side.
There was a wet, splintering noise. Nora went limp in Methos’ hands. He dropped her to the forest floor. “There,” he said happily, wiping his hands on his jeans. “I’ve put her down.”
“You’ll pay for that,” said the Doctor, his voice soft. Terri saw his fists clench and unclench.
“Oh, I doubt that,” replied Methos. “I knew you’d come. This was all planned, you see. Your presence, my dear Doctor, is only icing on the cake.”
Terri tried to dash up and attack this monster who wore her friend’s face, but found that she still could not move.
Methos reached into his coat. But he did not draw his sword. Instead he pulled a short black rod from an inner pocket and pointed it at the Doctor.
“No . . . ,” breathed the Doctor. “No, it can’t be . . . .”
“Predictable as ever, Doctor,” he said and chuckled. “I survived, even in the Eye of Harmony, and now, with the help of this antiquity of an Immortal body, I shall at last have the power to conquer the galaxy!”
Terri felt the horror in her stomach pushed aside by a burning rage. It exploded from her heart and ran through her veins, unfreezing her muscles at last. “You bastard,” she spat. “You bastard!” And she flung the limestone rock at him with all her might.
He used the black rod to shoot at the rock. The shot went wide and a tree suddenly shrank away to nothing.
“Run!” shouted the Doctor, grabbing Terri by the arm, startling her out of her amazement. Together they dashed off into the forest. The sound of the black rod pursued them, but Terri knew her way through the Brickyards. She took the lead, leaping over fallen trees and down a hidden stream.
“This way!” she hissed. They had reached the old trestle bridge. She grabbed the Doctor by the arm and pulled him under. She pointed to a dark gap in the bridge supports. Together they crawled through to the bank of the Mississppi River. Nora’s rusty grey car was parked not ten feet away on a concrete boat launch.
“Now that’s lucky,” said Terri. “Let’s see if she left the doors open.”
The doors opened easily. They leapt into the car. Terri hot-wired the ignition.
“Where’d you learn that?” asked the Doctor.
“Don’t ask,” she replied through clenched teeth. She revved the engine once and shifted into drive. They screamed out of the Brickyards, leaving a thick coating of rubber on the boat launch.
“Dear God,” said Terri, once they were safely on Robert Street, amid the hustle and bustle of a weekday morning. She felt the adrenalin rush fade and her hands shivered on the steering wheel. “What was that?”
The Doctor groaned. “The Tissue Compression Eliminator. It seems he’s made a new one.”
He shook his head. “That wasn’t Methos. He’s been taken over. And it’s not a Dark Quickening.”
“Then who was it?”
The Doctor looked up and stared out the windshield at the approaching skyline of downtown Saint Paul.
“That was the Master,” he whispered.