John woke up inside his car, his knuckles white from clenching his seat. He looked around, confused, before sighing with relief. Petr Costravalos inside his house had been a dream. But… That meant… John shook his head. He was finding it hard telling what was a dream and what was reality.
“No!” he cried, starting his car up.
There was a rumble overhead, and the sky darkened, the clouds rolling in over London. John clutched his head as he drove back to his house. Flashes of Conner passed through his mind. No. He had to concentrate on what was real, like Victoria, and work, and Alan and Dave, rubbish one night stands, cups of tea and boring T.V. But it was hard.
“In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do,” John sang, trying to concentrate.
That felt better, and so John continued the song.
“Now you’re in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you. Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New Yoooork.”
Finally he reached home, and he leaped out of the car and rushed to the front door. Victoria was walking past, and she stopped when she saw John’s frantic state.
“Bloody awful weather,” she said. “You okay John? Listen, if it’s about me telling you to see a shrink, I’m sorry. John?”
He had ignored her, and stepped into the house. Victoria ran across his drive and followed him into the porch, where he had frozen still. She looked at the mess on the floor and walls. He had been burgled.
“John, I’m so sorry,” she said. “I’ll call the police.”
“What?” Victoria asked, confused.
“I said get out. NOW!” John bellowed.
Victoria backed away, scared, and John slammed the door in her face. He ran into the living room, and screamed.
There was no reply. John sighed and collapsed onto the sofa. He’d gotten so worked up over his dream, he needed to calm down. He switched on the T.V., and changed the channel until he found something half decent. As he began to calm down, he stopped shaking, and slowly drifted off to sleep.
“I feel like we’re best friends!” Kaylie laughed. “You’re so nice!”
“Thank you,” Korena smiled.
Kaylie took Korena’s arm and led her down the pavement on the way to Beth’s. Conner and Zac followed, catching up on recent events at home and in space, while the Doctor and Georgia headed up the back of the group.
“It was a bad mistake to show Korena 21st Century alcohol,” Zac muttered.
“Why, how much has she had to drink?” Conner asked.
“She hasn’t,” Zac laughed. “But Kaylie’s completely –”
“Pissed,” Conner noticed.
“Yeah,” Zac laughed. “Welcome back.”
Conner laughed in return. Beth heard the doorbell ring, and answered it, whilst chatting to Catherine.
“Who’s that? Is it your dad?” Catherine seemed excited. “He’s so lush…”
“It’s Kaylie!” Beth cried, opening the door. “And Conner!”
She hugged Conner, almost tearing his arms off, much to the annoyance of Georgia, who ignored Beth completely.
“Who’s this?” Beth asked, nodding at Korena.
“Korena Hashimoto,” Conner explained. “She’s a film star in the 40th Century. She joined us in the TARDIS.”
Catherine, alerted by the commotion, stepped out of the house. She saw Conner and Zac, Beth and Kaylie, and her eyes finally settled on Korena.
“Oh my God!” she cried. “It’s you! From the films!”
“You’ve seen some of my work?” Korena asked excitedly, making her way to Catherine.
“Almost every film!” Catherine said. “I love all those lines you say.”
“Oh, you speak Japanese?” Korena asked.
Beth and Conner laughed as Korena and Catherine headed inside the house.
“Do you think we should tell her she’s from the future?” Beth asked.
“No, leave her to it,” Conner grinned. “She’s a bloody good actress herself. If I didn’t know any better, I’d almost think Catherine really had seen all her films!”
Georgia, meanwhile, tugged the Doctor’s sleeve, who was watching with a bemused expression. He turned to her, and saw that she was holding her phone in the sky.
“I can’t get any signal,” she muttered. “But it’s a superphone – I should get signal everywhere.”
“What’s that in the sky?” the Doctor replied, putting his glasses on.
He pointed at a grey blob that seemed to be morphing. Suddenly, a bolt of red lightening flew down and struck the house, exploding on Beth’s T.V. aerial.
“That’s my bloody T.V.!” Beth shouted.
The grey blob morphed into a group of figures, floating in the sky. They wore grey cloaks, and beneath them, Zac could make out claws and skeletal wings.
“It’s the Death Collectors!” the Doctor cried. “Everybody, run!”
He grabbed Georgia’s arm, and hauled out of the way of an explosion. Kaylie screamed and ran with Zac, Beth and Conner after the Doctor. Korena raced after them, leaving Catherine alone in the house. She screamed, backing away as one of the Death Collectors hovered down by the house.
“Catherine, close the door!” Beth screamed. “Run!”
Catherine slammed the door to the house shut, as the Death Collectors fired more bolts at the large group.
“Split up!” Georgia cried.
She and the Doctor, followed by Korena ran across the street and into an alleyway, while Beth, Zac, Kaylie and Conner ran down the street in the opposite direction.
The Doctor leaned over Conner, shaking him amongst the palm leaves. Georgia and Korena watched from afar, hoping he would succeed.
“Wake up Conner!” he cried, shaking him.
John sat bolt upright. The Doctor’s face was still blurry, his voice unclear, but something was different this time.
“I’ve never dreamed one thing after the other!” he gasped. “I always woke up in between. But… That must mean… Conner’s past, his present, and my life are colliding!”
He slipped onto the floor as he saw an unconscious Conner. Climbing to his feet, he rushed out of the door and leapt into his car, slamming it into life. He raced around to the shrink’s office, not bothering to park it properly.
“Oi! Careful!” Joyce cried as he ran past.
He ignored her and burst into the shrink’s office.
“Come on Conner, wake up!” the Doctor cried.
“It’s no use,” Georgia said quietly. “Maybe I should do mouth to mouth…”
“I’ve got one more option,” the Doctor replied. “Hang on – no! Wait! The TARDIS!”
He leapt off the floor and skidded over to the blackened TARDIS, leaving Georgia and Korena to watch Conner wearily.
“The dreams, the visions, whatever, they’re showing me two different things!” John explained to the shrink. “Conner Bennet’s past and his present – in the Jungle – but these two things, they’re colliding with my life! You’ve gotta help me! Take it away!”
He sank to the floor, clutching the desk.
The Doctor raced back to Conner, bending over him. He listened to his heart beat against his chest, and took a deep breath.
“What are you going to do?” Georgia asked.
“Oh my God!” John cried.
He saw the Jungle flash into his mind once more, but this time it was different. He saw the Doctor. But, he wasn’t the Doctor, he was…
“You!” John gasped, pointing at the shrink. “You’re the Doctor!”
The shrink stood up from his chair, and bent down beside John, who was clutching his head in pain.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” the Doctor said.
“What’s happening to me? Is he real – is Conner real?” he cried.
“Yes. The TARDIS crashed,” the Doctor explained. “And she’s shoving all of her power – that’s the entire power of the TARDIS – right into your head. That little brain, right there!”
He tapped on John’s head, causing him to cry out.
“And all the power – it’s creating you!” the Doctor said. “Blimey, a whole new personality, dreaming of a real life. Those aren’t dreams, they’re real. This, this life of yours here, that’s the real dream.”
“But it’s worse than that,” John realised.
“I’m sorry,” the Doctor repeated. “The TARDIS pushing its energy into Conner, it’s killing him. You’re existence is killing my friend.”
“What do I have to do?” John gasped, clutching his head in increasing pain.
“You have to die, so that Conner can live!”
John nodded silently, and the Doctor placed his hands on John’s face.
“It’s okay,” the Doctor soothed. “I can take the pain away, that’s it, dream your last, it’s easy.”
“You okay?” Georgia asked Conner.
“Fine,” Conner replied. “I’m just glad to be back.”
Georgia smiled and walked back to the console, and joined Korena, who glanced over at Conner with a worried expression. Conner saw Georgia say something, and Korena looked a little more at ease. The Doctor was patting the TARDIS console happily, before he caught Conner’s eye and stopped.
“Fine,” Conner repeated. “Did he say anything, before you removed him?”
The Doctor shook his head.
“He just wanted you to live,” the Doctor explained. “And you know, he wasn’t just created from the TARDIS, he was made up of your consciousness too.”
“What does that mean?”
“That he’s still in there,” the Doctor tapped his head. “Tucked away.”
“But he thought his world was real,” Conner said. “All that dreaming – he must have thought he was going mental.”
“He did,” the Doctor replied. “He went to see a shrink. He had Neurosis.”
“Neurosis?” Conner asked.
“It’s occurs within a poor ability to adapt to one’s environment,” the Doctor explained. “Basically you weren’t used to living as an adult, and the shock of it caused you to remember your actual life. I guess you’d say he had Psychosis – a loss of touch with reality – but in the 22nd Century the two illnesses are combined, to avoid confusion with the Dominican Republic…”
He seemed to realise that he was waffling, so he turned and left Conner to his thoughts; of John, Victoria, Petr and the little part of his brain that was smiling, and was glad for him to be out there, in the universe, living his life, more than John Bennet had ever done in a single day.
"The water's song!"
"Welcome to the Houses of Parliament!"
"A bridge on the River Thames, east of London, has collapsed!"
"The cult who think they can defeat the world."
"I saw the devil."
"Who are you?"
"The four women - who will all die!"