(Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter)
The Doctor, Elena and Yarox had managed to trek their way through the snowstorm of Heleim with the aid of several of the Elves and their technology which did its best to shield the travellers from the lethal cold of Scratchman’s domain.
Even then however they were all finding it difficult to walk. The Doctor had almost collapsed at certain points.
“Remind me to do all of those things I said I’d only do when hell froze over old boy.” The Doctor said to Yarox through chattering teeth. “I’m a man of my word after all.”
Along the way they had been lucky enough not to encounter any of old Harry’s monstrous servants, save for the Corpse Eater. They had briefly seen the monster flying high above a few times, but fortunately it didn’t appear to notice them. The snowstorm was so fierce that they could barely see the giant above, and so not surprisingly it also missed the tiny creatures below too.
At bottom of the other end of the latest hill the Doctor, his companions and the Elves had barely managed to climb, there was the corpse of one of the Frost Giants, sprawled out below. The monster must have been over 200 feet tall. Aside from its great size it looked human for the most part, though its skin was bright blue, and it had razor sharp fangs and claws.
“I hope whatever did that isn’t still around.” The Doctor said as they prepared to slowly walk down the steep hill. Up ahead was the giant mountain the Elves leader said the portal existed on.
As the Time Lord and his companions neared the end of the hill, the Corpse Eater suddenly flew ahead of them and landed on the giant’s corpse.
“Don’t worry” the Elf leader said. “If we keep quiet he should miss us.”
Suddenly however the Frost Giant rose up and reached for the Corpse Eater.
“You really don’t stay dead long in this realm do you?”
Some of the Elves fled in panic, but the Doctor, Elena, Yarox and the Elf leader remained calm, and slowly crept out of the monsters view.
Fortunately it didn’t matter either way as the beasts were so caught up in fighting one another.
The Giant grabbed the bird by its talons and pulled it down to the snow. It then tried to stamp on the Vulture’s body, but the giant Bird wiggled free from the monsters grasp and flew straight into the Frost Giant’s face. The Giant let out a deafening scream as the Bird went sliced through one of its eyes, but the pain only drove the monster on. The giant reached out and tried to grab the Birds wings. In the struggle however the Bird managed to slash its claws across the Giants throat cutting it open.
The Giant then stumbled back a few feet, before the Bird went for its head which it caught between its two talons and started to crush, after which the Giant then collapsed face down in the snow, with the Corpse Eater landing on its back.
“He’ll only have a half hour or so to finish that meal before the Frost Giant pops up again. Should be more than enough mind you.” The Elf Leader said.
The Doctor looked up at the giant mountain ahead of them.
“We’ll never make it up there. Look how long it took just to get up that hill. I’m already struggling to stand.”
“Me too” Elena said weakly.
“We have no choice, it’s the only way up.”
Suddenly the Corpse Eater started to fly into the air screaming.
“He goes to all that effort and then he just leaves his meal?” The Doctor asked. Through the Blizzard the Elf king could see several more Frost Giants running down the hill.
“They all know this reality is crumbling” the Doctor said.
“That’s why they’re not hunting us. Doesn’t mean they won’t kill us if they see us though.”
Scratchman’s castle was now the only scrap left of the universe he had called home for the past several millenia.
In a way he was almost sad to see it go. He had spent so long in this domain, the monster felt he had time to create the perfect Demons, most of whom had fallen into the oblivion around them. Still Harry wouldn’t be losing any sleep over it.
The Demon had managed to connect the TARDIS’s “veins” to the tiny crack still left in the forcefield. The TARDIS had tried to trick the Demon a few more times, but Scratchman was either too wiley for the TARDIS, or if he did suspect trickery he would simply threaten to make the TARDIS flay more prisoners that he still kept protected from the war zone his castle had become.
“In a matter of minutes a new world will fall and tremble before my feet.” Scratchman said with giddy anticipation.
Some of Scratchman’s enemies had managed to make their way into his castle before it collapsed, thanks to the Black Knight, the armies man on the inside. Among those who had escaped the oblivion included the Queen of the Harpies, who was now possibly the last of her kind. She still fought against Scratchman’s Demons even though they had mostly been reduced to fleeing now.
The Harpy Queen picked up one of Scratchman’s most notorious torturers from the rabble of fleeing monstrosities and flew him towards the very edge of the castle that was beginning to crumble away into nothing.
“Do you remember a Harpy named Eiserka? Do you!” She screamed as she dangled him over oblivion.
“Please I can help you, I swear I can. Scratchman’s power is depleting. He is not erasing this universe out of choice, he needs to escape it as much as we do. If we strike together we can take the monster down.”
The Harpy considered this.
“He is trying to use an alien’s vessel to escape.”
“I know all about the Time Lord’s vessel. In fact chances are I knew about it before you did. Still you’ve shown me that his power over his minions is genuinely fading. I thought this reality crumbling was just his usual scorch the earth, or rather universe policy, but you’d never have told me he was weak before. I can tell when you’re lying. Still I don’t believe you were forced into hurting people at his command. I know you. You loved it.” She said as she dropped him into the abyss below.
The Harpy then flew over the crowd of Demons and monsters below.
“This universe is crumbling. Many of us suspected it for a long time, but some of us foolishly held out hope that Scratchman could be appeased, or that if we helped slaughter one another we’d be spared his wrath.
He’s going to flee this reality in a matter of minutes and leave us to go tumbling into oblivion. You can see it around you, whilst he’ll be laughing at us as he tears apart another universe. Now is the time to stop him. He’s weak, weaker than he’s ever been before, which is why he can’t hold this universe together. We can at last make him pay for turning us into his servants. What will you do, remain loyal to a Demon that’s about to condemn you to oblivion, or try and drag him down with us.”
Not all of the Demons responded to her speech, but enough of Scratchman’s minions who had barely managed to claw their way into his castle didn’t need much more encouragment to fight him. A horde of Demons and Centaurs and Satyrs charged their way through Scratchman’s halls.
The Demon had been observing this on his scanner.
“Do they honestly think that I’d get this far and let them stop me?” Scratchman said as he opened up portals to his previous hell dimensions.
A whole host of new monsters soon emerged to tackle the army, they included the gigantic Griffins from the bridge dimensions, Frost Giants and Erlik the king of the tar dimension.
“That should keep them busy. Now where were we” Scratchman said as he returned to the TARDIS.
“We’re done for.” Yarox said. “We’ll never get by that many of the Giants.”
“I doubt they’d see us through this snow storm” Yarox said.
“He’s right, we just have to hope they don’t notice us. What other choice do we have anyway?” The Doctor replied.
The weary travellers crept through the blazing storm to the side of the mountain keeping well clear of the thundering giants. Fortunately the monsters didn’t take any notice of them as they scrambled up the mountan.
“Okay we only have one chance here, we need to run into the portal and once we get there hold on.” The Doctor said.
“Yourself. I’m not naive. I don’t think Scratchman would make it easy for people just to slip through realms like that. If you thought the cold out here was bad. There’s a good chance we won’t survive.”
The travellers waited for a few more minutes until a chance presented itself, with the nearest Frost Giants being a about 30 or so feet away (though it was still hard to make out in the blizzard.)
As they prepared to scramble up the mountain however into the portal the Elves stopped the Doctor, Elena and Yarox in their tracks at the sound of a massive roar they knew only too well.
“Garmr” the leader of the Elves said.
“We need to go now.”
Before they could retreat however, a gigantic Wolf emerged from the portal. Little did the Elves know the Wolf could sense the second anyone got near the portal and could teleport there in an instant. (Virtually no Elves had ever lived long enough to reach the portal.)
There really was no escape from one of Scratchman’s hells if he didn’t want it.
The Wolf was gigantic, it must have measured over 100 feet long and stood over 50 feet tall.
Despite this however in contrast to the Corpse Eater it could see the Doctor and the others very clearly through the blizzard. Worse the Frost Giants behind had been alerted to their presence by Garmr.
As all seemed lost suddenly another figure came charging its way out of the portal and down the mountain. It was the black knight.
“Sorry for taking so long Time Lord.” The Knight said.
“I had some business to attend to upstairs.”
To Be Continued