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DW: The Mind Machine (Eleventh Doctor Story)


Cheese XD
I'm toying with this idea...please tell me if it's good or not!! Thanks :)


Once again, Amy felt the unbeatable thrill, that unceasing pleasure of making her way to the TARDIS doors, wondering what other world or galaxy or city lay beyond. She could feel Rory’s presence behind her, knowing that he would probably be feeling the same as she did now.

The Doctor strolled casually down from the console, pulling on his brown tweed jacket. He’d recently dropped the old darker brown one with elbow patches in a pool of super-acidic fluid at a science research centre on Elanora, but luckily he’d found one that was a lighter brown, had sort of stripes, and it fit perfectly so hey.

Amy grabbed the handle on the door, undid the latch, and pulled the door open.

“...that’s a cupboard.” She said, rather underwhelmed. “We’re in a cupboard.”

“I know, isn’t it great!” the Doctor said. He gave Rory and Amy a gentle shove out the doors, and pulled them closed with a click. He stepped over a bucket and tried not to kick a broom in the process, turning the handle of a door. “Let’s see where this goes.”

He pulled the handle and walked—into the door.

“Ow...” he muttered, rubbing his nose. He gave a casual laugh to his companions. “Locked, naturally.”

Amy simply face-palmed as the Doctor unlocked the door with the Sonic.

“So where are we really? Besides a broom cupboard?” Rory asked, as the Doctor put away the Sonic. He shrugged.

“Not a clue – random coordinates. Let’s have a look!” he said, and opened the door for real.

They were suddenly hit by the sound of loud, beating club music. Strobe lights bounced off of their face, and the lights and sounds of arcade machines and roulette tables filled their ears.

“A casino!” Rory exclaimed excitedly. Amy laughed.

“Let’s try roulette first!” she said. The Doctor couldn’t help but smile at their enthusiasm.

“Hold on, hold on,” he said. He Sonicked a machine, which dispensed coin after coin for the machines. “Don’t spend them all on sweets!” he advised.

“Doctor, wait a minute,” Amy said. She was looking at all of the people in the club. They were all human, and she could tell that they all had the same accent. Her eyes lit up with excitement. “Are we...in Vegas?!”

The Doctor nodded, accepting it as a plausible estimate. “I’d say so, yeah. Round about your present day, I guess, by the music.”

Amy giggled happily and dragged Rory away towards a slot machine.

Five minutes later, Amy had almost run out of coins. She and Rory had been around at least a dozen different machines. Amy had flopped on all of them, but Rory seemed to have a knack for winning.

“How do you do that?” Amy asked. Rory smiled, smugly, as another heap of coins fell out into the tray.

“Why? Jealous?” he asked. Amy smirked, giving him a ‘playful’ hit on the arm.

“Yeah, of course I am,” she said. Rory tapped his nose.

“A magician never reveals his tricks!” he said, knowing that the well-worn saying would get right on Amy nerves – and it did. She narrowed her eyes.

“I’m going to find the Doctor. I might pinch his Sonic or something,” she muttered, and went quickly away to find him. Rory laughed as he won, again.

Amy walked down past a row of gambling machines, the sounds of beeping and 90s sound effects signalling a loss, or a win accompanied by the sound of dropping coins.

“Where’ve you gone, Doctor?” she said to herself, straining to look over a crowd of people around a roulette table.

She squeezed past into the next row, making her way towards the clearest space in the casino – the dance floor. Multi-coloured lights flashed in her face, and she sighed as she realised that she couldn’t see the Doctor anywhere.

After watching Amy and Rory wander off to try and win some machines, the Doctor smiled and made his way towards a door that was marked ‘STAFF ONLY’. He hadn’t really set the TARDIS controls to random but, of course, he didn’t tell Amy and Rory that. The TARDIS had picked up a trace of abnormal energy shifts. It was probably something that wouldn’t take long to deal with, so why not let them have fun whilst he sorted out a small problem – after all, they’d done lots of running and alien-fighting lately.

Looking around, checking no-one was watching him, he pulled out the Sonic Screwdriver and unlocked the metal door, before slipping silently through it.

Inside, the only lights were emergency exit lights above a door at the end, and small bulbs dangling from the ceiling at unequal distances across a corridor, that was adorned with identical doors.

Scanning with the Sonic, he slowly and quietly stepped down the corridor, moving the glowing tip of his device left and right towards doors as he approached them.

Three doors down to the left, the Sonic Screwdriver went haywire. The Doctor lowered his hand and looked at the door – a warning sign was nailed over the window, so there was no way he could see what was inside without opening it; although a sign to the left that said ‘HAZARDOUS – AUTHORISED PERSONNEL ONLY’ gave him a good guess.

What could possibly be a hazard in a casino that hadn’t already been closed down? It was hardly going to be toxic waste, and if it was just junk with sharp edges then there was hardly a need for ‘authorised personell’.

“Unless there’s just something in there that they don’t want anyone else to see,” he concluded to himself. The Doctor tried the handle but, sure enough, it was locked. Before he used the Sonic he pulled back the warning sign as far as he could and peered through the tiny gap at the window.

There was nothing he could visibly see, as the glass was stained and grubby, and covered in wire mesh, but something was flashing quite brightly with light.

“Only one thing for it then,” he said to no-one but himself, and unlocked the door.

The door was surprisingly heavy – much heavier than it looked, like something that weighed quite a lot was attached to it.

The Doctor had to mind his step as he went inside, because there were sharp little bits of metal all around, and a hole in his boots was the last thing he needed.

The first thing he saw was tall, floor-to-ceiling metal racks, all adorned with boxes and bits of old junk. There were more behind the first one like library shelves, and even more to the left and right, but through the gaps he could see something at the other end of the room that was giving off light and energy.

After at least ten minutes of looking, Amy gave up on finding the Doctor.

“Of all the times to hit the bathroom,” she complained, knowing full well that he hadn’t in fact ‘hit the bathroom’. She didn’t even know if he did indeed need the use of such facilities, and she didn’t want to start thinking about it now.

‘Before I get lost,’ she thought to herself, ‘I’ll just make my way back to Rory, and then when we’ve finished we’ll find him together.’

But, after a few moments of looking, she found that Rory wasn’t where she had left him.

“Rory!” she shouted, groaning inwardly. ‘First the Doctor, and now Rory. Or do people just love hiding from me!’

She quickened her pace as she walked past all of the rows, getting quick images of casino-goers either groaning or cheering at the machines, none of which were her newly-wed husband.

She had a sudden thought – what if it was some kind of elaborate trap? Maybe the Dream Lord had trapped them in some kind of dream again, or something. She soon snapped out of it, though. They were in Vegas, and she’d just lost sight of her friends.

Suddenly, it was like there was a flash in her mind. She stumbled, almost falling into table, and for a moment she forgot where she was. For a second, all she could hear was the sound of the machines in the casino, and nothing else. She blinked a few times and shook her head, remembering what she was doing.

She went up to a woman and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Excuse me? I’m sorry to bother you but I’m looking for my friend? Well, he’s my husband, but he’s wearing a blue hoody and a kind of grey-ish over coat, with jeans? Brown hair, I don’t know if you’ve seen—” she stopped talking.

She frowned and tapped the woman again – either she hadn’t heard or had chose to ignore her, but she’d completely blanked Amy and had shown absolutely no kind of response.

“Can you hear me?” she asked. The woman’s eyes never left the pinball machine, her hands moving almost robotically across the controls. She poked the woman’s arm – definitely a fleshy, but still no response.

She walked over to the next person along, a young man in his early twenties who was also playing pinball.

“’Scuse me, mister,” she said, waving her hands in front of his face. When he didn’t respond at all, she began to get worried.

The first thing that came to mind was that maybe they were all in some kind of trance, although the whole thing seemed eerily familiar.

When she was at school, her favourite topic had been Ancient Rome. She remembered a Roman myth that she’d learnt, in which a group of brother and sister monsters called Lotus Eaters or something of the like, set up places like shops and game corners, and used their powers over people to lure them in. In one version, they had entranced people in a casino and trapped them there, and she couldn’t help but be reminded of that now.

“Right, first thing,” she said to herself, “find the Doctor. If I can find him, then I can find Rory,” she reassured herself. Then, it occurred to her that the Doctor might be in some kind of trance, like everyone else. “No,” she told herself firmly, “I’m not, so why would the Doctor be?”

Happy with her decision, she looked around for somewhere she hadn’t looked.

When Amy had gone off to find the Doctor, Rory couldn’t help but laugh. His wife was jealous off his slot machine skills and she wouldn’t admit it. He grinned to himself as another shed load of coins dispensed into the tray. He grabbed them and stuffed them into his pockets, and put another coin in and grabbed the lever on the side.

When he pulled it down, there was a short, sharp flash of blinding light in his mind, and he fell in a daze to the floor, accidentally falling against a person behind him playing another machine.

“Sorry,” he said quickly, dazedly rubbing the back of his head. The person didn’t seem to respond, so he said sorry again.

He stood up. The man – a rather portly man in his late forties – was either so ignorant or so into ‘CASHCANAL’ that he either didn’t hear him, didn’t respond or couldn’t respond.

He decided that if he hadn’t noticed then there was no point in starting awkward situations, so he meandered away.

He began to wonder what had actually happened – he’d pulled the lever to start the slot machine, and it was like something had just flashed in his mind. If he was honest, it felt like a train made of bright light had just run into him head on – no pun intended – but he knew that, whatever he was, he should probably find out where Amy had gone before he did anything.

The Doctor had to stand on his tiptoes and breathe in as much as he could to get through the narrow gap between the metal racks. As he got nearer, he began to not only hear but feel an electrical buzz emanating from the machine.

“What are you?” he murmured to himself.

Finally, getting free from the tight-spaced path that was cluttered with boxes and heavy objects that he couldn’t otherwise identify, he got his first glimpse of the machine.

It was black, and rather cylindrical, although it found out into a round skirt-ish base at the bottom. There were mini controls all around it, and lines of different coloured lights led to the top of the machine, where a series of antennas and mini satellite dishes (some twirling, some stationary) were attached to a black sphere that seemed to be crackling with electricity and flashing occasionally.

“Ooh, you’re a bit of a catch, aren’t you?” the Doctor said, a smile forming on his face. “A bit of a beautiful machine, if you don’t mind my saying so,” he continued. Squinting against the flashes of light, he kneeled down on the floor around it, and began inspecting the controls with his Sonic Screwdriver.

Taking out a panel in the back, he inspected the many data chips, wires and computer banks that were underneath. His smile faded with every second.

“That’s not good,” he murmured to himself. “A transfigured Data Conversion Unit combined with a Core of Hexine and ... an Axonic Configuration Processor. What could they possibly be doing with you?” he asked, more to himself than the machine.

The Doctor decided that he needed a bit more of a think, so he sat himself down next to the machine and, leaning against the wall, began to ramble to himself.

“Breaking it down, he have a Data Conversion Unit. An application that I’m guessing in this case it to convert any Data it receives...what data would that be? Information? Maybe, maybe, but that doesn’t seem right. And anyway, what’s with that Axonic Configuration Processor?”

He tapped his head, telling himself to think.

“Axonic, Axonic, Axons—”

For a moment he panicked, thinking that it may be Axon technology, but then he dismissed it.

“Nope, wrong time period, technology’s way off. Axons, axons—what do axons do? Linking neurons in the brain, letting them communicate. Maybe...maybe—YES!”

He exclaimed as his brain finally clicked.

“Axonic configuration! Of course!”

Amy was starting to panic. She’d been running around for quite a while, and she could find neither the Doctor, Rory, nor an exit. She was just about to give up hope when she heard the metallic swing of a door being wrenched open. She whirled around, and heaved a sigh of relief seeing that it was the Doctor.

“Doctor!” she shouted.

“Amy, I need to talk—”

“Me first!” she cut in. “There’s something wrong with everyone! They don’t respond to anything, they’re just standing like zombies or something!”

She led the Doctor over to a man standing in front of a slot machine, his hands still working away the buttons.

“It’s like they’re hypnotised, they’re just staring at the machines!” she exclaimed. The Doctor snapped his fingers in front of the man’s face.

“No, they’re not, look,” he said. Amy looked and saw that the Doctor was right. The man was simply staring ahead. At first glance, it looked like he was looking at the machine, but upon further inspection, Amy realised that his eyes just happened to be pointing in that direction. It was like they were lifeless – even his hands were moving, pushing buttons and inserting coins, like they had a mind of their own; almost like they weren’t under the man’s control.

“So they are hypnotised?” Amy asked.

“In a way, yes. And no,” he answered.

“Thanks, I feel wise,” she said with sarcasm.

The Doctor sighed. “What I mean is, it’s not hypnotism. It’s like hypnotism, but it’s not, though just think of it as hypnotism.” He begin feeling the man’s heartbeat and inspecting his eyes. “I don’t think he’s even conscious. It’s almost like he’s just been put there for show,” he concluded, dashing along to the next machine and inspecting its occupant.

“Like whoever put them there wanted people to think it’s...”

“A real casino?” the Doctor finished, nodding, “yeah.”

Amy sighed. “So we’re not in Vegas?”

“No, we are. But I don’t think the casino is currently open for business.”

He left the machine and walked over to Amy, guiding her towards the general direction of the dance floor.

“Let me tell you about what I found in the other broom cupboard,” he said.

“Go on then,” Amy said.

“I’m not sure what to call the machine, but if I was to give it a guess, I’d say it’s basically a machine that manufactures a level of control over someone’s brain, to an extent. It’s made up of three basic parts: the Axonic Configuration Processor and a Data Conversion Unit, with a core of pure Hexine.”


“It’s like a source. You can tune it to expel different types of energy. Firstly, you input instructions into the machine, and the Data Conversion Unit converts those instructions into brainwave matter. Then, it sort of...not combines, but latches on to the Axonic Configuration Processor, or ACP, which the Hexine core then transmits towards all of the set species in its range, the set species being in this case Humans. Then, the Axonic Configuration Processor uses the brainwaves to change the thoughts,” he finished, leaving a bewildered Amy looking clueless.

“Come again?”

The Doctor sighed.

“Okay, okay, basically, axons connect the neurons in the brain, and the electronic pulses go through the axons to each neuron. In the end, the machine changes what goes through the axons, like Chinese whispers, so that in the end, the thought that goes to the brain is completely under control of the machine which, eventually put your whole body at its mercy,” he explained. Amy bit her lip.

“I think I’ve got you,” she said rather uncertainly, and the Doctor clapped her on the shoulder.

“Good girl, now, something else – where’s Rory?” he asked.

“That was the other thing,” Amy said, “I can’t find him. I’ve been looking everywhere, and I can’t find an exit either so I don’t know where he could’ve gone.”

“Right, okay, don’t worry we’ll find him,” the Doctor reassured her. She nodded, knowing that she could trust the Doctor with her – and Rory’s – life, even if he was an occasional goofball.

“I know.”

“Good. Now that we’ve got that sorted, why don’t we—”

“Doctor!” Amy shouted, pointing.

Every other occupant of the casino had stopped playing with the machines, and was staring directly at the pair of time travellers.

“Someone must have changed the protocol,” the Doctor guessed. Suddenly, in coral movement, the casino-goers took a step towards them. By instinct more than initiative, the Doctor and Amy took a step backwards. Suddenly, in a rather scary and unearthly fashion, they started walking towards them, and at quite a pace.

“Shouldn’t we run or something!?” Amy exclaimed, as they stepped backwards.

“That’s a good idea,” the Doctor replied and grabbed Amy’s hand, pulling her towards a DJ station at the side of a stage. Pulling her up the stairs, the casino-goers broke out into a run, hands reaching out for them. Amy couldn’t help but be scared by their suddenly vicious faces, and she hoped that behind the red stage curtains that were currently closed, was another way to get out of there.

“Where are we going?” Amy shouted, as the Doctor led her down the dark alley of the backstage. Amy couldn’t just barely make out shapes and other things she might almost trip on, and took care to jump over them. Jump was all she could do, since the Doctor was pulling her along at such a rate.

They reached a door at the opposite end, but it was locked.

“Use the Sonic!” Amy exclaimed.

“I am!” he shot back, pulling his device out of his pocket and using it against the lock. He ushered Amy through, but before he went through himself he pointed the Sonic Screwdriver in the direction of the lights he could see dangling from the ceiling.

They flickered on, and cast a blazing light across the stage behind the curtain. Unfortunately, that meant that the casino-goers who had happened to come through the curtain at the same time could see him. Before he could open the door, they set off at a sprint towards him.

“Woop!” he yelped, and rushed through the door, slamming it behind him. “Help me!” he called to Amy.

They both struggled to shut the door, as there were at least five people on the other side trying to push it open, and at least forty ready to do whatever they’d been ordered to do to them if they couldn’t close it.

“Try and...push harder!” the Doctor said, his arms groaning from the effort of pushing so hard. Amy groaned with exhaustion and physically barrelled into the door. There were yelps of suprise from the people on the other side, and the door slammed shut. Without missing a beat, the Doctor blasted the lock with his Sonic Screwdriver, and they both stood back and sank against the wall of the corridor they were in, exhausted.

“Woo,” Amy said through pants, and raised her hand. The Doctor gave a grin through his exhausted sighs, and returned the high-five. “What now?” she asked.

“Now, there’s a few things I need to establish,” he answered.

“Like why they suddenly turned into mad zombies and tried to kill us?” Amy suggested. The Doctor gave a frown.

“We can’t be sure they were trying to kill us,” he reasoned. Amy didn’t look so sure.

“Did you see their faces? They were vicious! Like Weeping Angels when they go into ‘attack mode’!” she exclaimed. The Doctor’s face bore a grim expression at the memory, but he shook it away and stood up, offering Amy his hand.

“They’re not exactly in control of their bodies either,” he countered. “But nevertheless, I think it’s fair to say that it’d be safe if we stayed away from them for now,” he concluded. Amy nodded in agreement.

Suddenly, the door rattled with the sound of someone barrelling against it from the other side. Both of the jumped slightly in suprised and took a step further away from it.

“We could start by getting away from that door,” Amy suggested. The Doctor nodded, and bustled her away down the corridor.

“Do you think they took Rory?” Amy asked. They had been walking for about five minutes and had already found themselves lost in the corridors behind the stage. Amy couldn’t help thinking that there were a lot of rooms just for a casino.

“Nah,” the Doctor said, dismissing it immediately. “Well, not the zombie-drone things anyway. You were in there all the time, and the machine is programmed to control all the people in the vicinity – if anyone had made a moved they’d have all done it.”

“So what happened to him?” she asked.

“I have a funny feeling that whoever runs this place employs robot staff,” the Doctor answered, “or at least he has some androids to do his dirty work. One of them tried to get me away from the machine earlier.”

The Doctor and Amy reached a T-junction. “So he was kidnapped by a robot man?” Amy suggested. The Doctor pulled a face.

“I’m not sure kidnapped is the right word. They probably wondered why the machine wasn’t affecting him,” the Doctor reasoned.

“And why isn’t it affecting us?” Amy asked, sub-consciously rubbing her arm.

“Background Radiation, most likely. Like I told you, the TARDIS gets inside your head and translates alien language and text. It probably safeguards it against things like that – it wasn’t exactly the most high-tech version anyway,” the Doctor told her.

“You don’t think...they’ll try and experiment on him or anything?” Amy asked worriedly.


“Yeah, to like, see why it’s not working on him, or whatever,” she said, an edge of worry in her voice. The Doctor shook his head.

“Doubt it, they’ll probably just hold him and that's assuming he was captured, and didn’t just get lost,” the Doctor said. They shared a look that suggested they wouldn’t cross out the thought.

“Should we split up?” Amy suggested. The Doctor sighed thoughtfully, looking down both corridors – they were identical. Beige coloured plastered walls, shiny grey floors and lights running along the ceiling.

“Maybe,” he replied. He did a quick scan with his Sonic. “Nothing unusual, unless it’s being blocked. In which case we could both choke to death if there’s some toxic gas floating around.”

“Loving it.”

The Doctor grinned. “See ya!” Before turning and walking headlong to the left. Amy sighed amusedly, and took off to the right.
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