Before Midnight was the seventeenth and final short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: A Day in the Life. It was written by Rebecca Levene. It featured the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and C'rizz.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Charley is bored, while the Doctor pilots the TARDIS. C'rizz shows them a newspaper story featuring a mysterious break-in at a law office. The Doctor thinks they should investigate, but the TARDIS is suddenly hit by chronic energy.
Darrakhaan arrives at the Institute. He experiences a moment of nausea, then has a vision of his prize: a space-time navigator. As part of his vision, he sees himself further down the corridor get hit by a security probe. When he reaches the location, he destroys the probe before it can shoot.
As the Doctor's group reaches a door, three space-suited figures emerge. The Doctor and his companions experience a wave of nausea that passes once they enter the room housing the Collective. It is a huge amorphous globe. One by one, the Doctor and his companions enter.
Meanwhile, the space-suited figures, later versions of the Doctor and his companions, inform Zalaron that they sprang their trap, but the most dangerous part of the mission is yet to come. The Doctor plans to create a temporal loop, and he hopes that they will be able to emerge from it once their mission is complete. They enter cubicles that are linked to the navigator.
In the Collective, the earlier versions of the Doctor's group meet Quyai, one of the members. He explains the purpose of the Collective, and the Doctor suddenly realises why they are here.
Darrakhaan encounters Zalaron and asks him to explain the function of the navigator. He then steals the navigator and shoots Zalaron.
Inside the Collective, the Doctor is ready with his plan. Darrakhaan enters the Collective, and expects Quyai to help him use the navigator. However, the Doctor confronts him, and the trio get the navigator away from Darrakhaan. Darrakhaan gets it back and gloats that he won, but the Doctor explains that the Doctor used the navigator to trap Darrakhaan in a time loop. He will use the navigator to bond with an Earth thief and try to steal the navigator from a law office. He will then be placed in several other mundane locations before returning back here to the Sanmarus Institute.
The Doctor springs the trap. Darrakhaan enters the body of the thief, who is about to break into the law office. Quyai sends the Doctor and his companions into the bodies of three security guards at the office, where they will stop Darrakhaan.
Charley and C'rizz wake up in the cubicles, where the Doctor tells them the mission was a success. Charley is surprised to see that Zalaron is alive, since he was shot by Darrakhaan, but Zalaron explains that the navigator told him what would happen and he prepared for the event by wearing a personal force shield. The mission has been completed, just before the Doctor's self-imposed deadline of midnight.
Characters[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Charley hopes for bacon and eggs after their mission is complete.
- Darrakhaan thinks the Doctor is a human.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This story takes place concurrently with After Midnight.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor compares this personality submergence with Charley's recent experience on Armstrong's Colony. (PROSE: The Heroine, the Hero and the Megalomaniac)
- The Doctor inserts Darrakhaan's personality into several individuals that the Doctor has previously encountered: