“Hey, Mr....Teacher…Man,” Susan said to the teacher in her first period class the next day. “I’m writing a newspaper, and I would like to know your opinion on how beneficial the new teaching methods are.”

He glared at her. “They help you learn,” he growled. “That is my opinion. Now get back to your seat.”

Susan gave him a wide, fake smile. “Well, thank you for your input.” She waltzed back to her seat in satisfaction.

“What were you talking about?” Lexi whispered as Susan sat down.

“Don’t worry about it.” Susan looked around. “The guy in the gray hoodie is absent today,” she noted, glancing at the empty seat beside her. Lexi gave her a weird look and turned back around.

In her next class, Susan asked her teacher the same question. “How do you feel about the way the school is requiring you to give simple worksheets to your students?”

“I really don’t understand it,” he replied. “But this was the only teaching job I could find in the area, and it does pay significantly more than the average job. I just can’t afford to move to a place where I can actually teach, so I have to stay here for the moment.”

“Are you sure you want me publishing all this personal information?” Susan was writing notes on a clipboard.

“Just say I’m an anonymous contributor,” the teacher said with a smile.

“Um, I just finished two worksheets,” Susan ventured, “so do you think I could go around interviewing other people?”

“Sure.” He scribbled something on a slip of paper and handed it to her. “Your pass.” She nodded gratefully and quickly grabbed her blue backpack, which was sitting on the floor beside her desk. Ignoring the curious eyes of her classmates, she dashed out of the classroom.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Susan ran around the halls lined with rusty green lockers, peeking in through the tiny windows in the doors, and scanning the rows of students for one familiar face. She noticed that quite a few of the desks were empty.

On the second floor, Room 258, she spotted him, leaning over his desk and scribbling madly on a paper in front of him. Susan lightly tapped on the window four times with her knuckle. Several students looked up, but she put her finger to her lips and they continued working. She knocked again, and Adrian glanced at her. He stood up and said something to the teacher, who was reclining in his chair with a newspaper in hand. The teacher nodded and Adrian made his way into the hall.

“What’s wrong?” he whispered.

“Show me the janitor’s closet,” Susan said.

“But the Doctor said-“

“I know what the Doctor said,” Susan interrupted. “But rule number one, companions usually don’t listen to the Doctor.”

Adrian smiled hesitantly. “Alright. Follow me.”

“What are we looking at?” Susan asked when Adrian stopped at a corner.

Adrian stared at her quizzically. “The janitor’s closet,” he said slowly.

Susan focused on what looked like a blurry spot on the brick wall, and a wooden door slowly appeared. “Ah. Perception filter.” Susan jiggled the doorknob, and of course, it was locked.

“So what do we do now?” Adrian scratched the back of his neck nervously. Susan grabbed a small, black pouch out of her backpack, taking out a couple tools.

“Rule number two, you can always find a lock pick set on the internet.” Susan inserted her tension wrench into the keyhole, jiggling it around to find the correct way to turn it. She turned the lock clockwise and held it in place, then pushed up the tiny pins inside the lock with her hook pick. Loud footsteps echoed from around the corner, and Susan’s heart began to race as she fumbled for the last pin, feeling a tiny click as it fell into place. Turning the tension wrench completely, Susan swung the door open.

They slipped inside the janitor’s closet and quietly shut the door behind them.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Susan and Adrian were swamped in darkness, with only a sliver of light coming from under the door. A shadow passed through the light as the source of the footsteps passed the closet. Susan reached her hand out, searching for Adrian’s cold fingers. He gripped her hand back tightly. As she reached around her backpack with her other hand to take out her flashlight, the room lit up with bright, fluorescent lights. They jumped back, startled, and Susan blinked hard a couple of times to adjust to the sudden brightness.

Just as Adrian described it, there were large cylinders lined up in rows all around the room. Human-like figures floated in some kind of liquid in the tubes, and as Susan got closer, she saw that yes, they were actually humans. She recognized the boy in the gray hoodie who sat in the desk next to her in first period. His skin looked almost as gray as his hoodie, which was gently rippling around him as he bobbed up and down in the liquid. So that was why he was missing today. Dark tendrils of “stuff” seeped out of his skin and were being sucked through a pipe connected to the bottom of the tank.

They followed the pipe, and they found themselves in another room, where hundreds of other pipes emptied a black liquid into a large, glass tank. A larger pipe attached to the tank led them into yet another room, where they saw three black, slimy-looking creatures sitting in a circle with tiny tubes inserted into what may or may not be their skin. The creatures reminded her of the Pokémon, Muk, except with black “skin” instead of purple, and a more humanoid form.

One of the black creatures turned to look at the unexpected visitors and rose slowly. Its appearance shifted until it appeared to be human, and it ripped the tubes from its skin. The others copied its actions and they all shuffled towards Susan and Adrian, who were backing away.

“Mr. Stack?” Adrian cried as the creatures’ facial features became more defined.

“Mr. Teacher Man?” Susan recognized one of the figures as her first period teacher.

“You should not be here,” the three teachers said in unison.

“Run!” Susan yanked on Adrian’s arm and they dashed out of the room, bumping into the Doctor and Amy, who were sneaking in from the other direction.

“What are you doing here?” the Doctor exclaimed.

 “Run!” Susan repeated as the teachers slowly made their way towards the group. 

*DISCONTINUED* Between Dimensions (A Doctor Who Fanfiction)Read this story for FREE!