Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cat's Eyes : Doctor Who


Cat's Eyes

Doctor Who : Adventures in Time and Space

This was to be our second Doctor Who adventure with Rocky being the Game Master.  For this game, I decided to reprise my role as Dame Judi and this time our adventure through time would be accompanied by a new Companions: Rose Tyler whose feistiness frustrated Dame Judi, Catherine Tate whose calm focus annoyed Dame Judi, and a scientist named Emmett Brown IV who was good with gadgets and had resourceful pockets.   We had emerged from the T.A.R.D.I.S. expecting something exciting given the Doctor having gathered the group without really explaining why.  "So what I really want to show all of you is this fantastic.."

The doors open to show an old hotel.


Dame Judi sighs, "This always happens with the Doctor.  You wouldn't know," she sneers at Rose.  The Doctor admits they are where they.. should be... but not where he wanted them to be.  Rose slowly looks around and notes they are in the reception lobby of some old hotel which had fallen to disrepair.  Yellowing wallpaper.  Mold.  Water falling from the ceiling.  No lights.  Dame Judi notes she fails to detect any technology active in the area.  She does not find the place familiar.  The art deco style however seems to possibly suggest Earth period of the 80s.  Catherine Tate jokingly walks straight up to the counter and rings the bell as she calls out for service.

There is a blur of motion, and something jumps out from behind the reception desk.  It stares at the group then saunters off.  Judi searches for the nearest light switch, cracks it open, and tries to reroute energy to light up the area but realizes she will need some kind of power supply.  "Here," the scientist comes up to Judi and draws out a futuristic power cell from his pocket, "Use this."  With a bit of tinkering, some lights engage and offer a bit more light.  All see now better a sign that reads, "The Majestic Hotel."  Judi rolls her eyes, "We are not amused."

"Well, it could have been called the Meow-Meow hotel," Donna jokes.  Without waiting for the others, Rose heads off to explore upstairs.  The Doctor asks Judi to go with her given she's the only one he "trusts."  Judi is more excited than anything to do what the Doctor suggests.  Judi asks Rose for the cellphone in her pocket and tweaks it to make it a decent flashlight.  The two start looking through the rooms for anything interesting.  The two discuss a bit about how the T.A.R.D.I.S. has been taking them to strange places lately and how they both feel the T.A.R.D.I.S. seems to be jealous of them.  Judi's annoying tendency to compare herself to Rose starts frustrating her.  As they pop open one of the doors, a bunch of feral cats rush out.  They stare at the two for a moment, then leave.  The two continue looking around and find a room with breaks in the ceiling exposing it to the elements.  And then, a flash of blonde hair in the corner of a room they just opened.  Judi is startled and trips on her own legs and falls down, clumsy as usual.  Rose pulls her to her feet and the two approach, calling out for the person to show herself.

"You're making a lot of noise," the voice responds.  Judi leaps behind Rose in fear and allows the two to talk.  The young teenager steps into view as she replies, "Well of course I am blonde."  The girl is not unattractive, with rather roughly cut hair.  She is wearing an oversized coat and fingerless gloves to keep warm.  Rose asks if she is alone, and she returns the question to them and asks if they are looking for a place to stay.  Judi suggests they should return to the doctor.  Rose mentions they are here by accident and its probably because there is someone who needs help.  The girl mentions the two should probably talk to Peter and Judi asks if Peter is a cat.  "He sort of runs things here, but he should know what to do with you."  She asks if any of them are doctors, and Judi grabs the young woman's hand to drag her back.  The girl reminds the two to be quiet, given people are sleeping, and she drags Judi back downstairs.

Downstairs, the Doctor finds strange readings on his sonic screwdriver.  The three look around, seeing a restaurant area, a pool, and other rooms.  Donna looks around, wondering if there's a basement area or a furnace with the power supply to the building.  Emmett looks around and realizes the place smells very old - but feels very out of place for him.  They find the main dining room with the kitchens and other places.  The Doctor wonders if it would be a good time to swim, which Donna finds obnoxious.  Donna stars to worry about how many cats are in the place.. and worse, what they had been eating.  As they approach the pool, a figure emerges from the shadows towering above them.  Emmett rushes behind the group, worried given his lack of fighting skills.  Donna steps forward, confronting the figure, "Okay, so... introduce yourself please."

The figure is in a long coat and towers at over six feet.  He gives no response.  The man looks confused on what to do with them.  Donna starts miming "Do-You-Understand-English?  We-Are-Strangers. We-Don't-Know-What-Is-Going-On-Here?"  The man seems to understand and motions towards the pool area.

From another door, Rose, Judi and the young girl emerge from a door and see the others.  Rose introduces them to Kate.  When they ask who the man is, Donna admits he has not introduced himself yet.  Kate tells them he's Chad.  When Emmett introduces himself, Kate looks curious, "You the Doctor?"  Judi directs her to the Doctor instead and explains, "He's the Doctor."   They share that there are a lot living here and that Peter is the one in charge of the place.  "Hopefully you can help," Kate muses.

They make their way to the physical center and there find the man named Peter.   Kate tells him that the strangers had come to help.  Rose introduces them all, referring to Judi as "the annoying old lady."  She then asks how they can help, but Peter challenges them and asks how they can be trusted.  The Doctor explains they were passing through, but couldn't help stop by the establishment.  The room has more of the people who stare at the group with worried eyes.  Judi asks if they can be bothered for some tea.  Donna calls out to the people and asks them to ignore the old woman. "We are just here to help."

A man calls out and "apologizes" for not having accommodations to their liking.  When Donna tries to explain that they want to help, the man still expresses how none of them trust the group yet.  Judi tries to explain that they are here to help and that they have helped a lot of people in many places... and times.  Much to Rose's regret she vocally admits this is one time she does agree with Judi.    The people gather closer, uncertain what will happen next.  Donna notices the group defensively around Peter, and how they seem to also be gathered towards the door in the rear.  "Why is everyone huddled in this room here when there are so many other rooms in the hotel?  What are you hiding from?  There seems to be a door there that you are all not.."  Rose hears the mention of the door and heads straight for it, but the people stand up and block her.

Judi uses her Voice of Authority and tells them all that the point of the matter is they are trying to help them and they won't be able to if they don't tell them what is going on.  "The least you CAN do is tell us what you are afraid of so we can help you."  Peter finally asks, "Which one is the doctor?"  The group all point at the Doctor.  Peter leads the Doctor to the side room and the rest follow.  Chad keeps the others from being as close.  At the side room, there are two makeshift cots.  There are some over-the-counter painkillers, some jugs of water, and signs of sickness on the two patients within.  Emmett sits down beside them to check what is wrong with them.  The two had been feeling unwell  for two days now.  Typical signs are responsive and well, but beyond the reflexive reactions, the two have been unresponsive to words, touch, and the like.  Peter admits they've been force feeding the two soup to feed them.  Peter shows them the only time the two react however, and this is when he splashes the two with water on the face.  The two seem to respond for a moment, then return to the odd state.  Donna wonders aloud if splashing on their face works, why not try dipping them in the pool?  Rose rolls her eyes and wonders why not start with something simple, like a basin.  Judi rolls her eyes and wonders why to not bring them out into the rain, since it is currently raining and that seems to be the more obvious solution.  The Doctor admits all the ideas sound good, and he feels he is in a good experimenting mood.   Judi's suggestion wins.

The group carries the bodies out to the courtyard.  As the two get more and more wet, they start to be responsive.  One asks what had happened and Donna admits they were all hoping the two could explain what happened to them.  "What was the last thing you remember?"  The man admits it was dark, he was off the bed and there was a cat or something.  Emmett wonders if it is something contagious.  Judi asks for the key to get something in the T.A.R.D.I.S.  but the Doctor ignores her and turns back to the rest.    More cats seem to gather in the area.  Emmett suggests everyone stay away from the cats, but Peter tells him there are more cats in the building than people.   He admits the cats were already here before they took residence in the place.  Rose tries to prod and ask for more information but the man admits that is all he can remember.

The Doctor mumbles about this being familiar.  As if he was trying to remember something about cats.  Water as a cure.  Emmett calls everyone's attention to tell them there are more cats in the area now, watching them.   The Doctor asks if there are others similarly afflicted and Peter suggests they head upstairs to check.  He warns them, however, of Eddings - someone who is a bit territorial and unliked by most.   Kate guides them back upstairs.  The group now can't help but notice more and more cats in the area, watching them from higher vantage points and the shadows.  Judi considers rigging something to the rain water to generate electricity, but Kate points out the floor of the carpet is soaked in water.  The group nearly falls victim to a trip line laid down the corridor.  Kate reminds them that Eddings is a tad territorial.  As they disable the trap, a man emerges at the doorway with a knife in his hands.  Rose moves to intercept.  He raises the flashlight at the man and he stops.  "Thought you were cats.."

After a quick series of explanations on who they are and why they are here again and Emmett explains that there is something going around and people are getting ill. Rose feels he's being defensive and the two argue about things.  Donna however agrees that his arrival coincides with these incidents.  Rose asks Emmett to check if he's infected, but the man refuses to let them touch him.  Judi tries to convince him to submit, but he shoves her attempt to the ground.  "Just because I slipped through the cracks does not make me a horrible person."  Rose asks why he hasn't taken a shower and he counters that the pool is brown and he rather not catch pneumonia.  As the group argues with him, Rose slips away to his room at the far end of the corridor.  The bed is made of newspapers, with many pages stuck on the walls with tape.  All the clippings are about fires in different places.  The man starts telling the others to get out of his personal space.  Donna tries to call out to the hallway if anyone wants to help out.  But in response a cat leaps into view.

Rose opts to follow the cat.  Judi turns to Donna, asking if she's heading off to follow Rose.  The Doctor opts to follow as well, and seeing that Donna and the rest opt to follow as well.  They enter another room and fail to see the cat.  It probably has slipped out of the window, deftly darting to the other room.   The group follows and notice things on the walls.  The terribly graffiti reads:  The Are Coming!  The Earth Shall Be Taken In Fire And Flame And Only the Dark Shall Remain, The Burning Is In the Mind But Shows In the Eyes.  The Doctor admits that line is odd.  Suspicious even.  When asked who wrote these things, Kate talks about Roger who supposedly always talked about strange things like aliens, eyes in the dark, and the like.  They eventually find an old danish tin usually with cookies.  Inside, however, they find a rock.  It looks glassy with a purple stain on one side.  The purple part of the rock appears to be some sort of gel that was super-heated.  A meteorite of some sort?  The Doctor admits he likes a good mystery.  They joke around about how Judi liked it more back when they took a journey to Rome and the Doctor had to become a gladiator.  Rose asks if anyone knows more about the rock.  As they wonder about finding more info on the meteor, Emmett suggests they check the room with newspapers on the wall.  The Doctor peers through a door and all the others see another one of the homeless lying on his back, staring at the cat's eyes.  Rose asks Emmett to grab some water.  Judi suggests they watch and see what happens first, though.  "We know the cure, but we don't know the cause.  And if it doesn't work, we can test it on Rose.  She's young, she can handle it!"

The guy and the cat neither move, locked in their hypnotic gaze.  Rose images the cat telling the man "Feed me."  Donna and Judi, however, don't grasp the idea, being indomitable.  The man's eyes start to cloud over.  Rose starts to worry, asking if they should do something to stop it, but the Doctor admits it might be best to keep watching.  As they all lean in to watch, another cat appears, emerges from the darkness and makes eye contact with Judi.  The old companion stares deeply into the cat's eyes, even as she tries to remind herself the whole time to not make eye contact.  There is a presence in her mind, but Judi feels it crawling into her head but she resists.  The cat runs off, slipping past everyone as it flees.  

Judi stares at them all, asking if they felt what she felt.  She tells them how it made eye contact with her and tried to reach into her mind.  The doctor struggles to try and remember which alien race has cat forms and telepathic powers.  The Doctor admits cats aren't that common unless they are nurses.  The wood of the building creaks loudly, then suddenly the ceiling breaks and rain pours into the room!  Everyone grabs something to hold on to, but Judi is pulled by the torrents and finds herself washed away.  She slams into some walls and furniture, knocking her out.  Rose inwardly admits a feeling of joy that Judi's finally shut up.  The man on the matress awakes, the water breaking the cat's spell upon him.  Emmett rushes to Judi to try and revive her.  He succeeds, and though dazed, she opens her eyes.  "Emmett, I know I could trust you... Rose gloated didn't she."

The Doctor admits the cat thing still confuses him.  Emmett notices the cats are gone from the room.  Rose peers out to see where the cats have gone and finds one cat drenched and pressed against the wall.   Donna wonders if they should catch the cat, but the Doctor thinks the cat is fine.  The group decides to head back to Peter.  They make their way quickly to the leisure room where the others are.  They find Peter stressed out and two other homeless people have been brought inside also in a state of unconsciousness.  Peter admits if they should do the rain thing on the two.  Judi admits she thinks it would be better if all left the premises thinking of it collapsing due to the water damage.  The Doctor however feels they best leave for a different reason entirely.  Kate admits there's something wrong and she knows the cats are involved.  Donna asks if there's a way to capture a cat and analyze them.  The Doctor jokes that is a lot of cats.  Emmett wonders how they will interrogate the cats.  Three cats suddenly enter the room in an arrowhead formation and walk up to the two homeless unconscious men to sit beside them.  The two men suddenly sit up and strart to speak in unison: "This place now belongs to the Pock unity.  Our many bodies dwell here.  If you stay, you too will belong to us and never be along.  We will hunt here and take what we need to bolster our numbers.  While one remains here, we will survive.  While one of us carries the seed in their mind, we will continue."  As they are talking, more and more cats enter the room, catching the gazes of more and more of the homeless people in the room.   Emmett asks aloud, "Is it time to run?"

"Pock entity," the Doctor mumbles aloud, "That explains the water.  They're sort of like a meme, if you get my drift.  Like how you have a song you can't get out of your head?  What if the song could think? And could spread around?  The cat's were just temporary bodies..."

"So they were transferring to human bodies," Donna gasps.

"Not just transferring," the Doctor admits, "More of.. multiplying?"

"Are they turning.." Rose gasps and turns to Judi, who realizes an alien thing just tried to "do her" in her brain!  Rose laughs it out and admits, "I think you would have enjoyed that."

"They're taking over," the Doctor realizes.    Peters asks them if they mean all cats and Chad emerges from a doorway with a kitten in his hands.  "Not a good thing..." the Doctor admits.  "So.. suggestions everyone.  Room. Group of people being dominated by an alien presence.."

All reply in unison: "Water.  The pool."

They all break into a run, heading straight for the swimming pool with the murky brown water.  Donna sticks her tongue out upon seeing the horrible water.  Rose does not even hesitate and leaps into the dirty water.  Donna wants to jump in but can't.  Emmett hesitates and to everyone's surprise Judi tries to stare down a cat.  The Doctor scratches his head. "What if we tried it the other way around and threw them into the pool?"

Judi stares at the cat and tries to telepathically tries to tell the cats, "Go after Rose!" hoping to trick the cats into leaping into the water after Rose.  Judi resists the compulsion but before she could do anything, the Doctor swats the cat from her hand.  Donna calls out, asking if anyone has ideas on how to make everyone jump into the pool.   Emmett calls out, asking why the water breaks the effect and the Doctor admits it sort of short circuits their communication.  Rose calls out from the waters, "Can we build something to..."

The Doctor pulls out a water gun.

Emmett and Judi look up.  They both have the same idea: The Fire Alarms.  They tell the others to buy them time and they hurry off.  Rose and Donna grab the nearest buckets and begin splashing those that get too close.  More possessed homeless people emerge, taking chase after Judi and Emmett.   Emmett turns a corner and escapes the cats, but Judi falls to evade them and the crowd chases after her down the corridors.

Reaching a maintenance shed, Emmett sees the sprinkler system and realizes he can probably get it running, but the piping and tubes will be a challenge to get working again.  Not even the Engineer's Mate he has with him will help.  He gets it working with a bit of jiggery-pokery while Rose, Donna and the Doctor continue to splash people with their buckets of water.  They work as efficiently as possible as they splash any who get too close to the pool area.  Donna tries to splash one homeless man who gets too close, but she drops the bucket and the man starts grappling her.  Donna shakes him off with a good twist to the side.

As Donna grabs the closest basin to start splashing again any more possessed who get too close.  Rose splashes others too, but clearly all they are doing is daze the victims.  The water doesn't keep them drenched long enough to break free completely from the alien control.  Another grabs Rose's arm but the grapple fails.  Peter drenches Chad with a bucket of water and the group pull Chad into the pool as well.  But they all them tumble into the pool, much to Donna's disgust.

More cats, but more parts of the hotel begin to break.  Emmett unleashes the sprinklers and water begins to drip down from above.  Judi runs and runs, and to her surprise, she runs straight into the possessed homeless.  Panicked, she raises her hand and declares to them that they should surrender as they acting against the grounds of the Shadow Proclamation.  The people turn to look at her, wet but normal.

The group regathers at the reception even as the water drains away finally at the floor.  Rose wishes she could bring buckets.  Donna wonders if there's a way to toss a the possessed into a hole into the pool below. Most of the cats clear off, running away.  The group eventually learns that the alien unity has been dealt with, save for one last member of the unity.  Eddie is possessed and the question of killing an entire race is acceptable.  As they consider how to deal with the last member of the unity, Judi offers to stay and watch over the last member.  She asks for Rose's phone and promises to call the Doctor if she ever needs help.  And as they consider whether or not Judi's call is the decision, the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to blind Eddie, keeping him from allowing the Unity to "spread" even more to others.  A tiny sacrifice in exchange for living on.

"You better behave yourself," the Doctor tells it then tells Judi she doesn't have to stay.  Judi tells them to pick her up after a year.  "Its enough time to make this place more decent."  She teases the people to be followers and they remind her this is America.  They ask if they really have to leave her?  Judi grins.

"Sees like she has a plan," Donna laughs.

"This problem wouldn't even exist if they understood hygiene," Judi sighs.   She grabs clothes from the T.A.R.D.I.S. and asks about the wedding dress among them.  The Doctor shakes his head and reminds her they are not hers.  She laughs and asks for a sonic screwdriver.  The Doctor teases that she will probably pick up one of those he left behind.  She hands back Rose's phone and gets back her Engineer's Mate.

The group wave their final goodbyes and the T.A.R.D.I.S. dematerializes.

"Rule number one," Judi turns to the homeless, "Bathing."

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