part 10

Jay McIntyre, Fanfic-man. Lillith Skye Rael, Cyber-scribe.

     *This is one of Mister Gone's improvements,* the Toymaker whispered 
in his mind.  *I doubt you'll survive.*

     Before Mike could ask who Mister Gone was, hundreds of black Iszes 
were charging him.  Desperatley, he leaped for the vine hanging in front 
of him, not bothering to wonder where it came from in his haste.  As he 
climbed, he saw it led up into a high tree.

     The Iszes chomped at the vine but couldn't get a hold; with every 
bite they took, that part fell off.  Mike was safe, within moments, in 
the heights of the tree.  Down below, he saw the Iszes begin to climb 
the tree.  Desperatley, he ran down one of the tree's longer limbs, and 
jumped.  He landed, painfully, on his feet on the edge of the Labyrinth 
surrounding the room.  He jumped out of the room, back into the 

     Mister Gone went slowly back towards the Labyrinth on his 
Isz-mount.  The Doctor had been stronger than anticipated; his alliance 
with the Toymaker was going to last a little bit longer after all.

     Through the rest of the night, as first the Doctor and then Maxx 
had kept watch on a higher tree branch, the troupe slept uneasily.  
Finally, the sun came up.

     "Up, children!" the Doctor exclaimed, waking first.  Ace and Joel 
groaned, and got up slowly.

      "Aint'cha never heard of sleep, Professor?" Ace asked blearily.

      "Sleep is for tortoises," the Doctor replied cheerily.  On we go!"

      Mike had collapsed in a hallway of the Labyrinth and slept for a 
while, but not very long.  He woke with a start, and stumbled onwards, 
he entered a room, and heard a grunting he recognized.

       "Oh great," he said, "Doom.  This guy plays too many video 

       The Doctor and company were trudging through the jungle, which 
was getting oppresively hot.  Monkeys--or at least, things that 
*sounded* like monkeys--chittered at them out of the trees.

       "Look!" said the Doctor.  "See there?  The other edge of the 
ravine.  We'll be out of this valley well before nightfall."

        "None too soon," Muttered Joel.

         "Oi," said Ace.  "Whassat?"  She was pointing at what appeared 
to be a small ruined fortress sitting at the edge of the clearing they 
were now in.

        As they got closer, they heard sounds of fighting within.  
Before they could even enter, a man in armor backed out of it, panting 
and slashing at some tentacled horror within with a great sword.  Ace 
lobbed her last can of nitro through the opening.  The blast knocked the 
sword-man back, and seemed to kill the tentacled thing.  The man got up 
and glared at them, his sword thick with the thing's blood...