“Hey Shakira, can you teach me sign language so we can talk in private?” Lawrence asked, wiggling his eyebrows upon ‘in private’. Farrah was sleeping with her face pressed against Shakira, and Strawberry was downstairs…unusually quiet.
“I will start with the alphabet?” When her husband agreed, she replied with an ‘okay’, and then touched her right index finger to her left thumb. “This is A”, she said, then made her hands look like a pair of binoculars. “This is B”. Lawrence copied, then she bent her index finger and thumb so their tips faced each other. “C…”
“MICHAEL JACKSON DIED AGAIN!” Strawberry came hurtling into the room, crashing just a few feet short of the bed. This woke up Farrah, and the first thing she noticed was Strawberry on the floor, sobbing.
“What happened?” Shakira, Lawrence and Farrah asked simultaneously.
“I don’t know….it was like he was poisoned at the rehab centre…” They were once again interrupted by Ursula, also not too happy about what had happened on Earth.
“Someone may be punishing us for rewriting history; Farrah for this time you are not going home without one of us with you and armed.”
Not wanting to be murdered, Farrah replied with “Fine by me…when aren’t you armed?”, with the last part said quietly. “Is there anything you guys can do to get him back?”
“We have to go to the Nethersphere”, Ursula stated in her familiar let’s-get-to-business voice. “This time we cannot fly out because we were not ‘invited’, but I know how to get someone out of there and alive once more. Strawberry, you will have to stay here as you are too close to him now.”
“What? Is this an excuse, because I don’t have arms?” she asked indignantly. While she was one of the first armless doctors on Kos III, most discrimination she had received was from Earth and Sontarans, such as Ursula’s father.
“No, in the outer reaches of the Nethersphere, where I have located him, there are zombies which feed off of relationships broken by death. You will attract too many, so you must direct us from the console of Shakira’s TARDIS.”
“It let you in without me?”
“Yes and it has Michael Jackson’s location locked in, as it will have ours. Lawrence and Shakira, I want you with me, Strawberry, TARDIS.”
The three were then teleported into the Nethersphere from the TARDIS, connected to their dimension only by the earpiece phone worn by Ursula. “Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?” she shouted down the phone.
“Yes I can hear you.” Strawberry’s voice came out loud and clear as she spoke into the TARDIS console’s microphone. “Where are you?”
“The outer limits. We are in a field walking towards what looks to be a passage underground, it just appears to be a door.”
“Great, it says you’re slowly closing in on him…the sooner you find him, the sooner you can all get out, right?”
“Yes, stop worrying.”
As they came closer to the door, the field changed. The sky grew red, and snow appeared. Shakira and Lawrence drew near to each other, as the former got her gun out, ready to fire. Ursula could hear something. A snarling, hideous zombie stepped out of the door, only to spew out degrading, hurtful, nasty insults as Shakira and Lawrence glared, wanting to find out more about this thing before they decided on how to deal with it.
“You can’t fight me…you can’t-“ The one thing you do not say to a Sontaran, even a half-Sontaran, is anything disparaging their fighting ability. Ursula aimed her blaster and blew up the bastard to kingdom come where it belongs.
“Well that’s one way to deal with it”, Lawrence flatly stated as they entered the door. They were now in the Nethersphere proper, a city with physics defying properties. Another door was in front of them.
“You’re getting there!” Strawberry cheerfully encouraged them.
“That is wonderful to know, considering that we are still being followed by zombies!”
She jumped. “Are you guys alright?”
“Yes. These ones only engage in psychological warfare.”
“It does not belong….it is weak…what is it?…what are they?…it is a douchebag…it is a bitch…it comes from a retarded gene pool…” The three looked around to discover the source of these new insults. They came from what looked like stone gargoyles.
“It is going to get a mouthful of lead if it doesn’t shut up!” Shakira yelled, pointing her gun.
“Can I walk three feet without being insulted?” Ursula answered, trying to open the door.
“It has bad posture…” one whispered, directing this at Ursula. “Isn’t that painful for it? It is the least of it’s problems now…”
“Does it and it know what a grenade is?” she threatened.
“Ursula, please stand back!” Shakira announced, shooting the door’s lock and hinges, making it crash to the ground.
“Well, that solves that problem”, she sniffed, then the three passed through the door…only to find themselves on a short jetty terminating in a dark swamp, complete with talkin’ insultin’ trees.
“Hey guys you’re getting really close! It’s like you hardly get closer to him at all and then you just jump!” Strawberry added through the earpiece.
“How’s it going?” Farrah chirped through the TARDIS microphone, with Strawberry answering with a (muffled, to Ursula) ‘Great! They’re coming closer to him!’
“Apparently we’re doing well…Farrah get yourself something to drink if you haven’t already, you know it is needed after hyperthermia treatments”, Ursula instructed as the talking trees (yes, fecking really) outspokenly doubted Shakira and Lawrence’s abilities to find Michael Jackson.
“They aren’t saying anything about Ursula”, Shakira noted under her breath.
“Maybe they’re trying to discourage us….maybe to trap us in the Nethersphere? Or just keep him here?” Lawrence looked around, feeling a little better about the situation now that he seemingly figured it out. The trees paused. “King. Of the. Fucking. Jungle”, he added.
“Now…how do we get out of this one?” Ursula wondered out loud. She tentatively stepped off the jetty and onto the muddy ground….which was just mud. She fell in. “WHAT IS THIS SHIT???” she screamed, a rare occasion where she did swear. The more she struggled, the faster she sank, and Shakira and Lawrence dived for the jetty’s edge to save her. This didn’t work, for now they were all in the mud, sinking, and Farrah could hear half of her medical team seemingly drowning in mud. Their screaming was broken by Ursula exclaiming “What NOW?” as they each fell face down onto ….snow. Yes really.
“Almost there!” Strawberry cheered, having left the console to get a snack.
“You didn’t hear? We almost drowned!” Ursula scolded, sitting up to shake the snow out of her hair.
“Oh shit…” Lawrence pointed out the fact that several zombies were approaching. They looked around for better weapons than just Shakira’s handgun, as Ursula then noticed that additional annoyances were arriving. The zombies seemed to be heading for the massive gate that stood before them; a fog behind this gate poorly concealed an autumnal forest.
“What’s this?” Shakira dug half of a Dalek shell out of the snow. “It looks like it’s functional!”
“Mine too!” Lawrence found a less intact shell, just the part where the weapon was, but it still worked. The zombies began their insulting tirade in their usual whisper, as Ursula charged her blaster and Shakira found the Dalek speaker. “DALEKS HAVE NO CONCEPT OF HOPELESSNESS! DALEKS HAVE NO CONCEPT OF…..INSIDE VOIIIIICE!” she screeched through it.
“SONTAR-HA!” Ursula screamed as she obliterated the first zombie. The other two followed her lead, also blasting the rest of the zombies to kingdom come. Lawrence fired the last shot at the gate in order to blow up the gigantic lock, and then he and Shakira (somewhat irresponsibly) discarded their shell parts before running through the fog. They found themselves in a deciduous forest, during what was meant to be autumn, apparently, with Strawberry announcing that they were right on top of Michael’s position…..and there he was…near a gravestone.
The three all yelled out some variant of “Michael Jackson! We found you!” and ran towards him.
“Who are you?” he asked, confused.
“We’re friends with Strawberry”, Shakira informed him.
“And Dex, remember, they saved you?” Lawrence added.
“YAAAAAAY YOU FOUND HIM!” This was audible even to Michael, especially as Ursula ripped the headset off to protect her hearing.
“Now what?” asked Lawrence.
“The cliff….I have done this before. The bridge-“ Ursula pointed to a bridge to the Nethersphere proper in the distance “leads to the Nethersphere, jumping off of the cliff teleports you back to where you came from in the living world. Michael Jackson will come back with us if he holds on to at least one of us. Just trust me.” They then headed for the edge of the cliff, which did not have an unforgiving river or set of jagged rocks at the bottom, but instead a view of various places in the living universe that was constantly changing.
“Are you ready?” Ursula asked, as the three surrounded Michael and held on to him. “One…two…three…jump!” Wind whistled around them as time seemed to slow down, all holding onto each other as if their lives depended on it, eyes tightly closed. The next thing they knew, they were on the grass outside Strawberry’s house, next to the TARDIS.
Shakira flung open the doors. “Strawberry! He is back! We found him!” The redhead squealed, racing to her friend and embracing him with her neck and arm-stump. “YOU’RE ALIVE!!!”
“Yes Strawberry! You guys saved me…again! Thank you so much!”
“We wouldn’t leave you to stay dead! Ursula says you have to stay here for a few days…is that okay?”
“Naw, I don’t mind at all”, he agreed, as the two disappeared to catch up on the last couple of days.
((A/N: Isn’t it obvious, I don’t like Eternally Us 😛 ))