The Dragons of Japan

A spate of mysterious deaths. Sightings of a mythological creature. Something is terrorising Feudal Japan, and how is it linked to a desperate struggle for survival in a distant galaxy?

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5. Nightfall

Clara hated the awkward, uncomfortable silence that now settled over the General's headquarters. It was filled with a growing apprehension as the sun dipped below the horizon- the Samurai, normally so composed, so calm- were looking pensive, and fidgeted, casting nervous looks toward the doors.

Some of them were also giving her worried looks. She didn't like that.

"I'm not going to conjure up monsters or anything." She said, a little tartly.

"We shall see." Declared the older Samurai, the scarred one who had at least been prepared to talk.

"Yeah, yeah we will." She replied, with a stern stare. "Look, I..."

Clara was cut off- as an intense, bright light shone in through the windows, and the Samurai drew their swords- pointing the business ends at Clara...

****

"Doctor, the night falls, you cannot go charging off into the darkness!" General Yuu called after the Time Lord as he wandered off, deep in thought.

"You must remain with me- I will not allow you to summon any more creatures!"

The Doctor spun on his heel, his eyes filled with something between anger and amusement.

"Let's clarify something General. I didn't summon anything. If I did, it would be far, far worse than what's been coming here. What I can do, is stop it. In order to do that, I need to know more about what it is."

"B-but, you can't!"

The Doctor smiled. "Oh my dear General. I most certainly can. Now though, instead of assuming I am summoning anything, why don't you tell me what you and your people have seen?"

Yuu stared at the eccentric man in the unusual clothes before him. Surely he was not serious?

"You... you really do not know?" He asked.

"No, I don't know. I plan to find out, but the more you can tell me now, the better I can help you later, and I will do everything in my power to help you."

"I... I misjudged you Doctor. I am sorry." The General uttered.

"Don't worry General. You aren't the first, and you won't be the last." The Doctor smiled again. "Now, tell me about what's been happening."

The General's eyes looked haunted. "A few days ago, mysterious, bright lights began appearing within the forest. We knew they weren't lanterns or fires. They were far too bright, and they moved too quickly. I sent some of my men to investigate- as they approached the trees they saw something... impossible."

"What did they see General? What did you see?" Asked the Doctor sympathetically.

General Yuu took in a deep breath. "I saw... a dragon! A huge, blue and green dragon, that rose out of the forest, and it... it breathed fire down upon the land, but left no burn marks... a creature of legend, in flesh before my eyes."

The Doctor's eyes twinkled. "Well then, let's go talk to a dragon." Once again he sauntered off, leaving a worried General Yuu to follow. The General was about to say that there was no point, that it was futile, for dragons were vengeful creatures, when up the path, near the General's base, a searing white light burst into view.

The Doctor froze. The light was fierce, and it was also uncomfortably close to where Clara was being held prisoner.

Without any thought to himself, the Doctor ran, and General Yuu chased after him.

****

The house seemed to shake, and the light was so bright it almost seemed to come through the walls, yet despite that, the Samurai seemed able to see Clara well enough- their swords pointed menacingly at her, and she was in the uncomfortable situation of being encircled.

"Not good Clara, not good..." She uttered to herself.

"You bring this beast to our door! Return it to Hell or die where you stand!" One of the younger Samurai screamed.

"I didn't do anything, I swear!" Clara was starting to get very anxious. Tears began to well up in her eyes. "Please!"

Now the light began to fade, but the soldiers did not relax. They did however, keep away from the windows, and by one of the windows Clara thought, for just a second, she saw something- something large, and scaly, slither past.

"Order it to leave!" Another Samurai yelled, but panic was setting into his eyes.

The building shook, suddenly and violently, and then again, as something slammed against it. Whatever was outside, wanted to get in.

****

When he saw it, the Doctor didn't know whether to be stunned by its beauty or not. Circling above the house, even smashing its tail down upon the house, was an incredible sight.

The dragon was huge and eel-like, snaking around the building with scales of green and blue. Enormous red eyes seemed to shine in the darkness, and it was snorting smoke from its nostrils.

"Oh you marvelous thing..." The Doctor whispered to himself. "Hey, excuse me!" He shouted, as he approached the house. "I want a word with you!"

The creature's head snapped around, clearly surprised that someone was speaking to it. Those bulbous red eyes seemed to lock onto him as he approached, but the Doctor was never one to flinch.

"Right then, I hear you've been terrorising these poor men. Killing these poor men. Well, I'm here to tell you this stops now." The Doctor was now virtually underneath the dragon, which looked down at him, teeth (big, razor-sharp teeth) bared.

"You've been stealing men's souls, for lack of a better word. Hardly very nice. Explain yourself!" The Doctor's eyes met those of the dragon's with steel in them.

The creature reared up. Short arms and tiny hands seemed to wriggle in contemplation at this small man daring to challenge it.

"We... harvest... minds." A deep, baritone voice boomed.

"I gathered that already. Why?" Replied the Doctor, slightly irritably.

"We... need... warriors. We... are... losing... our war. These... Samurai... they... are... expert... warriors. They... have... strong... minds. As... do... you."

"I wouldn't even try it if I were you. My mind will never submit to the will of anyone other than me."

"You... are... but... a human. You... will... serve."

The Doctor's eyes seemed to burn with passion. "I am the Doctor. I am a Time Lord. Formerly of the planet Gallifrey. I am over a thousand years old and my name is etched into events across all of time and space. Challenge me and you willlose." The Doctor reached into his inside pocket and pulled out his sonic screwdriver and aimed it at the dragon. The little green light began flashing.

"What... are... you... doing?"

"You don't belong here. You're not of this world. The question is, where do you call home? Oh my... this is interesting..."

By now General Yuu had caught up to the Doctor. He froze in terror at the sight of the dragon, hovering there, poised to strike.

"What... do... you... mean?" The dragon asked.

"I'm picking up large traces of vortex energy!" The Doctor started to wave his screwdriver around, particularly toward the trees. "You came here from another time, another place."

"I... come here... often."

The Doctor grinned. "I bet you do you filthy minx." Both Yuu and the dragon looked at him with what could only be described as confusion. "Um, never mind that last bit."

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