Chapter 9

When they finally arrived back to the TARDIS, the Doctor ordered Jack to come and help him as the two set off towards the storage room.

When Jack came back, he dumped a pile of what looked like a futuristic-looking rifles, which made Rose's eyebrows rise.

"I thought you said we're trying to save him, not kill him?" Rose said.

"It's not a weapon. Well, not exactly," Jack said.

"What is it?" Tegan asked.

"It's a containment field generator. We're not using this to kill wolfie, we're going to trap him," Jack said. "Here," he said as he tossed each rifle to Rose, Tegan, and Stanley.

"How does it work?" Stanley asked as he examined the rifle. It was silver, roughly the size of a normal shotgun. It had a handle and a trigger, just like a shotgun, but instead of a hollow barrel at the end, it had a rectangular, reflective cover. In the middle of the gun were two switches, each labeled with an alien symbol.

"Like this," Jack flipped one switch, then the other, then aimed the gun at Rose and pressed the trigger. A cylindrical force field appeared around Rose, trapping her in place.

"Oi!" Rose protested. She poked the force field experimentally and got a nasty jolt in response.

"Ow! Coulda warned me!" Rose said as she hastily pulled her hand back and glared at Jack.

"Oops. Sorry. Forgot about that," Jack said with an unrepentant grin. He flipped the second switch and fired the gun at Rose again. This time, the force field around her disappeared with a loud hum.

Rose raised her eyebrow. She glanced at her rifle. Let's see, Jack pressed this switch first, then the second one…

Without warning, Rose fired the gun at Jack. The force field appeared around Jack, who was moving around at the time and accidentally hit the edge of the force field with his elbows as he skidded to a halt. He hissed and pulled his elbows back.

"Hah!" Rose said triumphantly.

"Okay, okay! We're even. Now get me out," Jack said.

"You didn't say 'please'," Rose said in a sing-song voice.

"Rose, will you please get me out?" Jack pleaded.

Rose smiled, then looked at the rifle again. She pretended to frown in confusion as she looked at the switch. It wasn't that hard to figure out, really. The first switch either turns the gun on/off or unlocks it while the second switch activates/deactivates the force field. However, Jack didn't know that she had figured it out.

So, with an innocent look in her eyes, Rose tapped her chin and frowned, then said, "How do you reverse this thing? This one…? No, wait, that didn't do anything. How about this? Nope. Sorry, Jack. Can't figure it out. We'll just have to wait until the Doctor gets here."

"Rooose!" Jack started to panic.

Rose laughed, then hit the switch to deactivate the force field and fired the rifle. Within moments, the force field around Jack disappeared.

"Ha ha. Very funny," Jack said with a glare as soon as he was free. "Play nice, missy, or I'll have to take your gun away."

"Nope. Too late. You gave it to me. I'm not giving it back!" Rose said while sticking her tongue out at him.

Just then, the Doctor came back with a syringe and a length of ropes.

"Right, here's the plan. We'll divide into two teams, like before. Jack, you showed them how to use the field gun?" The Doctor asked.

"Field gun?" Tegan asked in confusion.

"The rifles I gave you. 'Containment field generator' is too long, so most people just call them field guns," Jack explained.

"Okay. So, what do we do after we split up?" Rose asked.

"We hunt the werewolf down, catch it with the containment field. Then we'll wait till morning," said the Doctor.

"Why wait till morning? What are you planning, anyway?" Tegan asked.

"Cause I need a blood sample. And I don't know about you, but I'm not sticking this," the Doctor held up the syringe, "Into an angry werewolf. Nope. We'll wait until he turns back into human. Much easier to handle."

After checking again to make sure everyone knew how to use the field guns, the Doctor went to the TARDIS controls and popped them over to just outside the village so they wouldn't have to make the hour-long trek back and forth.

When Beathan and the priest saw the Doctor and company, they looked up. They stared at the rifles with confusion.

"We're going to go look for him. You two better head back inside. It won't be safe once he starts running from us. We can't have people getting in the way," the Doctor said.

"W-what are those? Are they weapons?" Beathan said while looking at the rifles suspiciously. "But… but he's my son! You promised me that you will save him!"

"It's not a weapon," the Doctor said while holding the rifle up slightly. "It's just… something to cast a net with."

"A net would never hold him, Doctor. We've tried. He is much too strong," the priest warned him.

"Oh, this is no ordinary net. Trust me, it'll hold," the Doctor said with a secretive smirk. Then, he straightened up. With an authoritative voice, he said, "Head back inside. Make sure no one goes out until after sunrise. And no matter what you hear, don't come out. Stay inside and bar all your doors and windows."

The priest nodded.

"Come, Beathan. We will wait in the church," the priest said. "I will tell the others to stay inside, Doctor. Thank you."

Once Beathan and the priest were out of earshot, the Doctor turned to his companions.

"Jack, Stanley, you two cover the east side of the village. We'll cover the west.," the Doctor said.

Everyone nodded and split up accordingly. While Jack and Stanley went to the east to hunt the werewolf, the Doctor, Rose and Tegan started prowling around the west half of the village. They told Beathan and the priest to stay inside, where they would be safe, and promised Beathan that they would do everything in their power to save his son.

Nearly half an hour later, there were still no signs of the werewolf. With so many houses and horse carts, the werewolf could've been hiding anywhere— if it was trying to hide at all. For all they knew, it could have gone into the forest or in someone's house (and probably feasting on whoever was unlucky enough to be living in it).

"Oh, there's too many houses! Why don't we split up? We'll cover more ground this way," Tegan complained.

"Have you watched horror movies? That's what they always do before the killer picks them off one by one. Nope. We stay together and watch each other's backs," the Doctor said while keeping his field gun aimed and ready in case the werewolf decided to jump on them.

"We split up from Jack and Stanley," Tegan pointed out.

"Yeah, but they've still got each other," the Doctor replied.

"Besides, they've probably got better fighting skills than we do. I know Jack does. And Stanley's got his police training," Rose said.

"Oi! I can fight just as well as they do!" The Doctor protested.

Rose laughed and said, "Oh, come on, Doctor. Let's face it. You're a lover, not a fighter."

"Doesn't mean I can't fight. Was quite good with Venusian Aikido, you know," the Doctor said.

"Was?" Rose asked.

Before the Doctor could reply, they heard someone shout for the Doctor. They turned around and saw Stanley running towards them.

"Doctor! We've got him. Down by the church!" Stanley yelled as he came running towards the Doctor.

The Doctor nodded.

They all turned to follow Stanley as he led them to the graveyard next to the church, where Jack was standing guard over the werewolf, which was kept inside a force field. The werewolf was growling madly inside the force field, but seemed to be staying away from the edges. The fur on its forearms were slightly singed, suggesting that the werewolf must have tried to break free from the force field, only to be stung the moment it touched the barrier.

"So, now we wait, just like that?" Rose asked.

"Yep. Just nine hours until sunrise," the Doctor said with a grin. "Hope you brought a book. It's going to be a long wait."

"Can't we wait in the TARDIS?" Rose asked.

"Then who's going to guard Fido here? Nope. You go on. Get some sleep. I'll stay here and keep watch," the Doctor said.

"I'll stay too. I was supposed to be on patrol, anyway. Got the night shift. Wouldn't have been able to sleep, even if I tried," Stanley said with a shrug.

"Then I'm staying too," Rose said stubbornly.

"Rose, it's fine. Go get some sleep. Stanley and I will keep watch," the Doctor said as he gently grabbed her shoulders and kissed her forehead.

"No. I can't sleep, either. I'll stay with you," Rose said.

"Well, I'm going to sleep. It was night time for me in San Francisco. So, I'll see you all in the morning," Tegan said. "Doctor, is my old room still there?"

"Should be. Though, you might have to walk a bit. The TARDIS has changed the layout a few times since you last travelled with me. Not sure if your room's still in the same place," the Doctor said.

"Well, if nothing else, I'll sleep in whatever room I can find," Tegan said before bidding them all good night.


Despite Rose's best efforts, she did eventually fall asleep— against a tombstone, no less. Her ten year old self would've been shrieking in horror at the thought of sleeping among corpses and a werewolf. But her ten year old self didn't have a sexy nine-hundred year old Time Lord to keep her company (and a rogue Time Agent and a policeman, but that's beside the point). The men, on the other hand, managed to stay up the night.

Rose stirred when she felt someone nudge her. She blearily opened her eyes and yawned. Her back was stiff and cold from sleeping against a tombstone all night.

"Rose," the Doctor whispered and nudged her again.

"M'awake," Rose mumbled sleepily and opened her eyes. The sun was rising, bathing the graveyard with a surreal golden glow. Dimly, she noticed the werewolf inside the force field shaking violently. Rose's eyes widened.

"What's happening?" Rose asked.

"He's transforming. Back into human," the Doctor answered. As he did so, he took out a length of rope from his bigger-on-the-inside pockets and nodded to Jack and Stanley to get ready. Jack held his sonic blaster out while Stanley kept his field gun trained and ready at the werewolf.

Rose stood up and watched in horrified fascination as the werewolf twisted violently inside the force field. Gradually, the fur receded and the snout grew smaller and smaller until it was flat on his face. The werewolf began to shrink. He grew shorter and shorter while the fur receded completely and turned back into human skin. When the transformation was complete, a pale, naked young boy, no older than eight or nine years old, was left curling and shivering in his place.

The Doctor nodded at Stanley, who then disabled the force field. While Jack kept his sonic blaster trained at the boy, the Doctor leapt at the boy and tied the rope snugly around him while the boy thrashed and growled at the Doctor. But the transformation had left the boy in a weakened state. Soon, his thrashing slowed down as tiredness began to catch up to the boy. Within a few minutes, the boy finally stopped struggling and started to nod off, though he seemed to be fighting not to fall asleep.

Now that the boy had calmed down, Jack grabbed him and held him steady while the Doctor took out the syringe he'd been keeping in his pockets and drew a blood sample from the boy.

"Bring him into the TARDIS. Don't untie him. He might look human now, but the wolf's still in control," the Doctor said.

They herded the boy inside the TARDIS. As soon as they were inside, the Doctor led them all to the medbay. The Doctor soon set to work and placed the blood sample in a petri dish and set it under a microscope. While the Doctor examined the blood, Jack and Stanley kept a tight grip on the boy.

While the Doctor was examining the blood, Tegan walked into the medbay, yawning and rubbing her eyes.

"Good morning, sleeping beauty," Jack said with a grin.

Tegan yawned in response and said, "What'd I miss? And who's this?"

"That's our werewolf, Morgan, Beathan's son," the Doctor replied before turning back to his microscope. Not long after, the Doctor's eyes widened in realization.

"It's not a lifeform!" The Doctor exclaimed in surprise.

"What do you mean? It's not a lupine-whatever-thingy you were talking about yesterday?" Rose asked.

"Nope. Something else entirely. It's not even alive. See, even a photonic lifeform have some sort of DNA pattern traceable in their system somewhere, usually observable in the biophotons they emit. But this… there's nothing. No traces of a helix or biophotons. What I did find is a series of binary codes embedded in the nucleotide," the Doctor said in lightning fast speed.

"Huh?" Rose blinked. This was way too early for his scientific babbling. She hadn't even had her morning tea yet. Her brain needed a healthy dose of caffeine and danger in order to function properly. They hadn't even had their daily run-for-your-life routine yet. And that werewolf hardly counted as danger now that it was properly contained.

"It's a virus, Rose. A computer virus!" The Doctor said with his usual manic grin.

"But… it's in the blood. How can a computer virus be in the blood?" Rose frowned in confusion.

"You apes. Always trying to drown yourself in illusion. You've got virtual reality in the 21st century, but that's nothing compared to what you'll have in the 34th century. They've got games injected directly into your bloodstream, tricking your brain into feeling everything you're seeing. It's virtual reality at its finest. But oh, you didn't stop there. You brilliant, stupid apes had to come up with 'mods'. Someone, somewhere, invented a program to modify an existing game to mimic the behavior of a Lupine Haemovariform Wavelength, turning an ape into a wolf," the Doctor said.

"Human, Doctor. The word you're looking for is human," Rose said while shaking her head patiently. "So, this thing is a computer virus?"

"Yep." The Doctor nodded. "And you know how you get rid of computer viruses?"

"Antivirus?" Rose said unsurely.

"Antivirus!" The Doctor grinned before taking his sonic screwdriver out and pointing it at the blood in the petri dish. Once done, he set the petri dish back under the microscope, then grinned.

"Fantastic!" The Doctor said with a smug look.

"What did you do?" Tegan asked.

"Modified the program to delete any traces of itself. It's gone now. Completely gone," the Doctor said. He took his sonic screwdriver, walked over to the boy. By now, tiredness had fully caught up to the boy. He was sound asleep and slumped against the wall between Stanley and Jack.

Without waking the boy, the Doctor pointed his sonic screwdriver at the boy's heart and held it steady for a few seconds.

"That should do it. Give it about a minute for the antivirus to circulate around the body, but he should be fine afterwards," the Doctor said after he was done.

"Funny, I've heard about those immersive games from the 34th century. They were banned by my time. Too many hackers and people claiming that they were being hacked while committing a crime. Never thought one of them might end up spurring the werewolf myth in the 15th century," Jack shook his head.

"So these games, it takes complete control of all your actions?" Rose asked. She couldn't imagine why anyone would do that to themselves. It was one thing to lose yourself in a video game, but to completely surrender all your free will to some computer program?

"It shouldn't if you leave it at factory default. But like the Doctor said, lots of people try to modify their games, make it more immersive or able to do stuff the original programmers never intended— or just to cheat, in general. While most of the mods are okay, there are some out there that are downright nasty, either on purpose or just the product of shoddy programming that weren't properly tested before it was released to the public," Jack answered.

"I'll never understand computers," Stanley shook his head. "I can't even program the VCR, let alone play a video game. My son, on the other hand, has a whole collection of computer and Nintendo games. Every year, that's the only thing on his Christmas list: a new video game."

"Mickey used to play Nintendo a lot when we were kids," Rose said with a wistful smile. "Oh, his gran would get so mad if she found out he'd been playing for hours on a school night. She would take his Nintendo away until he finished his homework. But then he'd sneak out to my apartment instead so he could watch the telly. Oh, she used to drag him home by the ears!"

"You have Nintendo? I thought you're alien?" Stanley asked her in surprise.

"He is," Rose said while pointing at the Doctor. "I'm not. I'm human. From 2005. Jack's from the 51st century. And Tegan's from your time."

"2005? Anything interesting happen between my time and yours?" Stanley asked.

"Oi! No spoilers! Stop fishing for future information!" The Doctor admonished him.

"Just traveling with you is one big spoiler in and of itself, Doctor," Rose reminded him. Tegan nodded in agreement.

"I try to keep you away from major spoilers!" The Doctor said defensively. "Besides, I try to stick to the distant future. That way, it won't make much difference if you knew. Your time and Stanley's too close together. So, no discussing future events."

"What about 2012?" Rose reminded him without mentioning Utah since that was, technically, still in Stanley's country (and not too far away from his time period, either).

"That was an accident," the Doctor replied. "Besides, nothing major happened. Well, nothing that would be in the newspapers, anyway."

"What happened in 2012?" Stanley asked.

"Stanley, what did I tell you? No fishing for future information!" The Doctor said. "You'd still be alive in 2012. Don't want you mucking about and creating a paradox."

Stanley rolled his eyes and shook his head, but mercifully decided to let it go.

"Right. The virus should be gone by now," the Doctor said as he took a clean syringe from a cabinet and walked over to the boy. He drew another blood sample and placed it under a microscope. About a minute later, the Doctor declared with a triumphant grin, "Gone. Completely gone."

"So, no more werewolf?" Rose asked.

"Shouldn't be," the Doctor said.

Rose frowned. Something wasn't adding up. "Hang on. You said virus. Viruses don't migrate from one person to the next. Even if you get infected, the other person would still be sick. And Morgan is from this century. So… what about the one we were chasing from San Francisco?"

"Oh." The Doctor muttered as his eyes widened in realization.

"What? What is it?" Tegan asked in confusion.

"Rose is right. This is a virus. It won't migrate from person to person. It'll just copy itself into another person. So we've got two werewolves running around," the Doctor said. "And Morgan doesn't have a vortex manipulator on him. The original is still out there, somewhere."

At that, Rose and Jack turned to look at the boy's wrists. It was smudged with dirt and dried blood, but otherwise completely devoid of any vortex manipulators or leather straps.

"So, back to the chase, then?" Stanley asked.

"Yep. As soon as we return Morgan here to his dad," the Doctor said.


They carried the sleeping boy to his father, Beathan, who was waiting anxiously in the church sanctuary along with other priests. Judging by their bleary eyes and the lit candles all around the sanctuary, they must've held a prayer vigil all night.

"Morgan! My boy!" Beathan rushed to the boy.

"Beathan, wait!" A priest held him back.

"Don't worry, it's fine. He's cured now," the Doctor said as he handed the sleeping boy over to Beathan, who took and carefully laid him down on one of the pews.

"Morgan? Morgan, it's me, your Da," Beathan said with shaky voice as he tried to wake the boy up.

The boy stirred. He blinked blearily. As he opened his eyes, several of the priests stepped back warily, as if they were afraid the boy would strike at them.

"…Da?" Morgan said in a quiet voice.

"Oh, my boy! You remember!" Beathan cried and held his son tight in his arms.

"Da!" Morgan began to cry as well. "I had a nightmare! My hands! They were moving on their own. And… and… there was blood…"

"Sssh. Ssh. It's alright. It's over," Beathan whispered as his son started sobbing in earnest.

"Is it gone? Truly gone?" The priest who had stood with Beathan in the village clearing earlier said as he approached the Doctor.

"Completely. He shouldn't transform anymore," the Doctor said.

"Oh, praise the Lord!" The priest threw his hands in the air in praise. The other priests murmured in prayer, some kneeling down before the brass cross at the center of the back wall in gratitude.

"How?" The priest asked. "We've prayed for months, with no answer. We feared Morgan was truly lost."

"It's a disease, actually. Figured that out while we were examining him. Luckily, I've got the cure," the Doctor said. Well, not exactly a disease, but close enough. He doubted a 15th century priest would understand the complexities of a computer virus.

"What manner of disease would transform a man into such a beast?" The priest said in bewilderment.

"One that should never have spread in the first place," the Doctor said with a disapproving frown. To the priest, he said, "Father, the one we were originally hunting wasn't Morgan. There was another one."

The priest nodded and beckoned for the Doctor and his companions to follow him. He led them to a back room, away from Beathan and Morgan's earshot. There, the priest began his tale.

"Three months ago, a stranger came to our village, caked with blood and dirt and completely naked save for a single, leather wrist band on his arm. We thought he had been robbed by a highwayman. So, we took him in, cleaned him up, clothed him, and offered him a place here in our church. That night, a strange beast started roaming our village. Half man, half wolf, he was terrifying, but I'm sure you know that already. You've seen the like last night," the priest said.

The Doctor nodded and urged the priest to continue.

"It came to Beathan's farm first. Morgan was out by the sheep pen when it happened. It bit the boy. Beathan came running out when he heard his son cry. He started shouting to drive the beast away. It didn't leave, but it was enough to make it let go of Morgan. His neighbors heard the commotion. They all came out, brandishing pitchforks and torches to drive the beast away, but it was too strong. It killed two of our men. The rest of them fled and locked themselves in their houses. No one dared to come out. The next morning, the beast was gone, but so was the stranger we had taken in the day before. His bed was already cold by sunrise. We thought he must've left early in the night. We feared the beast might have taken him, but there was no body. At the time, we didn't realize that the stranger and the beast were, in fact, one and the same. One month later, Beathan came to me with the very beast we had taken in last night tied in a rope and covered in cloth— or so I thought," The priest paused before continuing.

"It was his son, Morgan," the priest said while shaking his head sadly, "Beathan only managed to subdue him because Morgan hated mistletoe and would faint if he were to touch one. It was only when the beast transformed back into Morgan in the morning that we realized the stranger we had taken in the month before was in fact, the first beast, for Morgan could not have been the original beast when we all saw the very beast attack Morgan that first night. Somehow, that beast's bite had transferred the curse onto Morgan. It's as if a demon had taken over him. By day, he growls and spittles like an animal. At night, he speaks, but not with his own voice. It was as if a demon was speaking through him. He would speak of conquering the land. Him! A boy no more than eight years old! Then, the next full moon came and he transformed into the beast once more. We've kept him locked up in the cellar, but he broke free last night," the priest completed his tale.

"What happened to that stranger? Or the first beast?" The Doctor asked.

"We have neither seen nor heard either form since that night," the priest answered. "Perhaps he truly had left the area."

"This stranger, what did he look like?" Stanley asked.

"He's young. Maybe no more than twenty or twenty-five years in age. He's thin. Very pale. He's quite tall. Taller than you. With short, wavy brown hair. I'm afraid, that is as much detail as I could give you. I haven't the skill to draw his likeness. Last time I saw him, he was wearing one of our monk's brown robes," the priest answered.

"Thank you, Father," the Doctor replied.

"Thank you, Doctor. For the past three months, we've lived in fear of this beast. Where people used to sing and be merry at night, there was now fear and closed doors. We used to be a friendly folk, welcoming to all who may pass through our village. But now, we look upon all strangers with fear and suspicion. Perhaps, with the beast gone, we will go back to the way we used to. I pray you will find the first beast and cure him as well," the priest said.

"So do I, Father," the Doctor replied with a nod. "Well, we must be off. Still have one more to hunt."

The priest nodded. "It will be another long search for you and your companions, Doctor. We shall give you some provisions for your journey. It is the least we could do after what you've done for us."

"Nah, no need. Thank you all the same. We've got more than enough provisions," the Doctor said. "We'd best be moving on. No telling how far that first beast had gone by now."

The priest looked at him with awe. "You are a good man, Doctor. All of you," the priest said to his companions as well. "May the good Lord bless you and guide you on your hunt."

"Thank you," the Doctor replied before heading back to the sanctuary along with the rest of his companions.

When they came back to the main sanctuary, Beathan stood up and went to the Doctor.

"Thank you, Doctor. I can't even begin to repay you for bringing my son back. He remembers me now! Before, he would do nothing but growl at me. But my boy is back! He speaks again! Thank you! Thank all of you!" Beathan said to the rest of the Doctor's companions.

They bid their farewells then. Beathan offered to pay them with silver coins and food, but the Doctor refused, saying they weren't seeking any payments.

Once they returned to the TARDIS, the Doctor scanned the area again for any hints of vortex activity.

"I don't see any. Trail's gone cold. Might have to go back three months and re-scan the area," the Doctor said before hitting the dematerialization sequence. Instead of rematerializing back to three months ago, the Doctor let the TARDIS drift in the vortex.

"Right, it's been a long night. Don't know about you, but I'm not chasing after a werewolf half asleep. So, why don't we get some rest?" the Doctor said.

"But what about the werewolf?" Stanley asked. "We can't just sleep while it's still out there!"

"Stanley, I've got two words for you: time machine. We can stay here for a week and still get there on time," the Doctor said. "Jack, help Stanley pick out a room, will you?"

Jack nodded and led Stanley away to pick out his own room.

"Never thought I'd be back in the TARDIS again," Tegan said while smiling in bemusement.

"Did you find your old room?" Rose asked curiously.

"I did, actually," Tegan replied, surprise evident in her voice. "It even looked the same. You know, I didn't even realize I left my purse here until I found it on my dresser last night. But my room's further away now. It used to be near the console room. Now I've got to go down two flights of stairs."

"Do you want me to move it?" The Doctor asked.

"No, it's alright. I won't be staying long, anyway. Don't get me wrong, Doctor, I missed this, traveling with you, but this life is not for me anymore," Tegan said.

"Why did you leave?" Rose asked.

Tegan sighed and said, "Blame it on the Daleks."

"Daleks?" Rose's eyes widened in alarm.

"Long story. I'll tell you some other time," Tegan replied with a stiff smile. "Well, if we're not chasing another werewolf anytime soon, I'm going back to bed. The TARDIS woke me up with a loud alarm this morning. I swear, if it weren't for the werewolf, I'd have thrown something at the wall just to get that ship of yours to shut up."

The TARDIS blew a raspberry at Tegan's comment.

Rose laughed and said, "She only did it so you wouldn't miss what happened this morning."

"I know. I know. But I still hate alarm clocks," Tegan said with a wave as she walked away and disappeared into the corridor leading away from the console room.

Now that they were finally alone again in the console room, the Doctor turned to Rose and placed his hands on her waist as he drew her into his arms.

"Now, about that 'dancing around the console'," the Doctor said as he captured her lips in his. A soft music began to play in the air.

"Beautiful," he whispered in a daze, as if he hadn't meant to say it outloud.

"For a human?" Rose said with her tongue peeking out between her teeth.

"For anyone," he replied before kissing her lips tenderly and whispering, "I love you."

"I love you too, Doctor," Rose said as she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him back.